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Eugenie Bouchard semi-final

Thursday 3 July 2014

Eugenie Bouchard talks to the media following her 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Simona Halep

Q. How much of a relief is it to get past the semis this time and make it into a Grand Slam final?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I wouldn't use the word 'relief,' but I'm happy to get to my first Grand Slam final. It's very exciting. It's what I've worked so long for, you know.
I'm just proud of myself for today's effort.

Q. You seemed so subdued in victory. What are the emotions that you experienced on the court when you realized you were in the Wimbledon final?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I felt like it should have happened a game earlier, so I already had that emotion in my head already.
But, you know, it's not like a surprise to me. I expect good results like this. So for me, I was like, Okay, good. It's a step in the right direction. I get to play in the final. You know, I still have another match, so it's not a full celebration yet.

Q. What does this mean to you to be the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam final?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I get to make Canadian history again. It's always exciting and special when I can make history. My job is not done. I want to go another step further.
So I'm going to stay focused and enjoy it after.

Q. What went on with the first match point? You seemed to have a long discussion with the umpire.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, when Simona tossed I heard someone scream in the crowd. It had happened a few times already. This time I didn't feel prepared to return.
So I put my hand up. The umpire told me he heard it, as well, but he just didn't see my hand go up. But, you know, it only went up after someone screamed, which was pretty much when she was going to serve.
I don't know, somewhat of an unfortunate incident. I didn't feel ready to return and I put my hand up. Yeah, I felt like we should have replayed the point, but he said, no, it was her point.
I took it as a challenge and tried to keep going.

Q. What about the incident in the tiebreak when you had to stop?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, a few odd things happened in this match. In the first set twice, I mean, basically we took a few minutes' break randomly. First she took a medical timeout and then someone in the crowd was feeling unwell.
You know, it's unfortunate that someone was feeling bad. I think we were both kind of feeling bad for someone like that.
But it's pretty tough to stop in the middle of a tiebreak. You know, it was intense, and then to just kind of not play tennis for three minutes messes up the rhythm.
But, again, you know, I took it as a challenge. I was like, Okay, this is the same for both of us. This is happening. I'll just go out and try my best.
I missed the next return. It wasn't a great point. But then I stepped up my game.

Q. Do you think you're further into concentrating than a lot of other players?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I think I'm able to not worry about the distractions, especially when it's out of my control. Like someone in the crowd not feeling well is definitely out of my control. It happens once in a while.
You know, I think what I do well is I really don't let it get to me or affect me. You know what? There are challenges everywhere in life. You know, I love being challenged and I love working hard to try, you know, to overcome something.
I kind of see it like an opportunity like that. I see it more of in a positive way than a negative way.

Q. You talked about success not feeling ahead of schedule for you. When did you sort of feel like you might be in the 2014 Wimbledon final? When did this seem like a plausible goal?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I always want to go as far as I can in any tournament. I didn't set a specific goal of reaching a certain round of this tournament, but I've been feeling good these whole two weeks.
After doing well in the past few slams, I've been believing since the beginning of the tournament that I can do really well. You know, I'm just trying to take it one match at a time. It's really important not to get ahead of ourselves.
But yeah, you know, I totally feel like I belong, and I'm just so excited for the next match.

Q. Do you think Justin Bieber will have noticed you yet?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I hope so. I'm putting in so much hard work, you know. I want to see this hard work rewarded.
I don't know. I mean...

Q. He's not been in touch then?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: No (laughter). You know, he's kind of been in trouble recently, so...
I'm not associated with that at the moment. But, you know, if he cleans up his image... No? Someone is shaking their head no.

Q. You talk a lot about looking forward to your next match. I wonder whether or not as this two-week period has gone on you've taken any time to look back at the run you've gone on here and how that makes you feel, and what lessons you might be able to take out of the previous matches you played here?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I really try to do both. I really try to keep my blinders on and just focus on the next step, you know, whether it's a day of practice or the next match.
But I also try to appreciate, you know, the effort I put in in my previous match. I'll enjoy this win a little bit, then soon enough it's time to focus again.
More I'd say at the end of the tournaments or trips I'll kind of take a moment to reflect and look back. But it's really important for me to just keep going. You know, my job is not finished here, so that's my mindset.

Q. You're now set to play in the biggest match on the biggest court in the biggest tournament. The other day you were talking your favorite show is the Big Bang Theory. Do you think this is a kind of a big bang?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Someone made that really lame joke a few days ago. I called him out on it. So I'm going to have to say that was really lame again.
I'm just trying my best, you know. Just, like I said, so excited. This is what I've worked my whole life for.

Q. You said yesterday with the Royal visit that you're excited about getting out to Centre Court to see who was up there. Colin Firth must be a fairly poor second best. Given Justin Bieber is not Royal Box material, who would be your dream person to see there on Saturday?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: He's not (smiling)? They really wouldn't allow him in the Royal Box if he came?

Q. He might not be the top of the invite list. They wouldn't let him through the gates.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I feel like he would manage to get himself in there somehow. No?
Who else? Uhm, that's a tough question. I would love like to see Oprah there or something.

Q. It's been a good tournament for Canada. Have you had much conversation in the last few days with your compatriot, Raonic, and do you fancy the chances of maybe seeing him on Sunday night perhaps at the champion's dinner?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, we've spoken a little bit. Always happy for him. I think he's playing really well. I'm happy he's having some good success. Joined him in the top 10 now, so that's exciting. I wish him the best of luck for tomorrow. He has a great match and a great opportunity to play against someone so amazing like Roger.
It's a big moment.

Q. How much did nerves come into play on the match points at the end? Was it more so than in the other semis just because victory was at hand maybe?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I mean, I think there were a little bit of nerves, but I've had that, you know, in my previous match. Before each match I'm a little bit nervous, which I think is normal. I think everyone is.
I wouldn't say it affected me that much. I was feeling pretty calm on the inside and kind of took the whole situation, you know, like I said, as a challenge. I really wanted to prove to myself, okay, there was a little mess-up or something, but I can do this.
On the changeover I was very calm. I thought to myself, I can do this. I just went out and tried to play some good tennis.
The tennis was not great the whole match, you know. It was a bit up and down, I think. But I'm happy, you know, I could play some good points at the end.

Q. In terms of that calm, how much does it help that you've been here before, you've won at Wimbledon here before two years ago?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think that helps. Not only at this tournament, but I think that's helped me in many tournaments after winning the juniors. It definitely gave me confidence in playing in the professionals. You know, the transition, winning the juniors, definitely, yeah, I think was a big point in my career.
It's helped me since then, not just at this tournament. But of course I feel extra special here, a little bit like I'm at home. It's always enjoyable coming to Wimbledon.

Q. Do you have any unusual fitness regimes? I understand you do hurdles and also run dragging weighted sleds behind you?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, those are not fun. I haven't done those, you know, during the tournament. Usually we keep it more just kind of day-to-day managing, not so much intense fitness.
But I enjoy working hard. I love a good gym session.
I wouldn't say I do anything odd. But, you know, lots of squats, lungs, dead lifts, all that good stuff. It's getting really physical nowadays, the game, so you've got to be, like, in top shape.

Q. If you win on Saturday, are you likely to go crazy with your celebration?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I'll decide after match point. Right now it's a long ways away. So I'm not looking forward to the result of the match, I'm looking forward to playing the match first and foremost.

Q. You seem very composed all the time. It seems to me like if there ever was a time to lose your composure it would be winning your first Grand Slam final. Do you ever go nuts?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I'm waiting for a big moment to go nuts. Of course, achieving a lifelong dream like winning a slam is very exciting to me.
But, you know, I feel like my job is not done here, so there's no need for a huge celebration because, you know, I'm still working. I still have another match.
But today, you know, I just felt very calm in general. I was proud of myself, but I know I have another step.

Q. I don't know if you've been on your phone, but hundreds of people have been tweeting you asking you to marry them. What do you think of that?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I won't check that too much, especially during a tournament. Good effort, though. There's always a chance, I guess, that I'll say yes over Twitter (laughter).
So keep 'em coming.

Q. Anything special you want to reward yourself with after having played such a great tournament?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I'll think of that after the next match, you know. I'm not done. That's the most important thing in my head. You know, after I'm done with Wimbledon I'll have some time off, some much???needed time off, and I'll enjoy a mini vacation.
But for now I'm not thinking about rewards or celebrations because I don't deserve anything yet. I have another match.

Q. As someone who has played the full two weeks here, can I ask how key for you the middle Sunday is? Is it something you quite enjoy?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I enjoy it. I think it's a quaint tradition that Wimbledon has. I know this year it was kind of frustrating for some players just because they couldn't play because of the rain. Then of course it's sunny on Sunday and no one can play.
But I think it's nice to keep these traditions. So many tournaments don't have, you know, important traditions that they keep, and Wimbledon does. Along with the all white, all that stuff.
I think it's so unique, so I love it.

Q. A lot of people are comparing you to Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova, saying you're the big money-maker on the women's tour. What are your thoughts on that?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I see it two ways. I see it as a compliment to be compared to someone like Sharapova who has won five slams. You know, she's a great champion. I see it in a positive light.
But also I'm my own person. I don't want to be, you know, the next someone else. I want to be the first of me. You know, I want to be my own individual person. That's what I do. You know, I'll try to make my own history.

Q. When you think about Petra Kvitova, what do you remember of her winning Wimbledon? What are your thoughts on the challenge of facing her now?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think it will be my toughest match yet. I'm looking forward to the challenge.
I know she obviously likes the grass and has some good weapons, so I will be ready for those. I'll try to impose my own weapons and game against her.
I think we'll both be going at it, which will make for a very good, you know, match.

Q. What do you recall of her triumph here in 2011?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I remember I was playing the juniors. I think I got to the quarters of the juniors that year. I mean, I didn't watch much of the match. You know, she was relatively young to win it, I think, and not one of the top favorites. We all thought it was a little bit of a surprise.
But she was playing really good tennis, so she deserved it.

Q. Since you are such a big fan of Roger's, if I would have told you several years ago you would both would be in this position, in a similar spot at Wimbledon, what would you have said?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I would have been very happy with that, and I would say, I hope we both win so we can go to the ball together.

Q. Amazing story.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: We did, though, already. When I won the juniors he won the men's, so that's when I first met him.


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