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Live Blog : Thursday 3 July 2014

  • Bouchard to meet Kvitova in Wimbledon final
  • Bouchard beats Halep to become first Canadian Grand Slam singles finalist
  • Kvitova through to second final after seeing off Safarova
  • Thursday's Results
by Caroline Cheese

18:30I'm off to celebrate that glut of British mixed doubles success. We'll see you tomorrow for men's semi-finals day: Djokovic v Dimitrov followed by Federer v Raonic. Sounds alright doesn't it? See you then!

Genie Bouchard

18:26"I see it as a compliment to be compared to someone like Sharapova who has won five slams. 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 the next someone else. I want to be the first of me...I'll try to make my own history."

18:23Jamie Murray - wearing some snazzy shades - and Casey Dellacqua wrap up a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 6 seeds Horia Tecau and Sania Mirza to move into the quarter-finals.

18:21Can I just say that there is absolutely no suggestion that Justin Bieber is coming to the Wimbledon final on Saturday. Bouchard is Canadian, Bieber is Canadian, and journalists will be journalists.

18:18

Naomi Broady

18:16"I can't even speak...my adrenalin is so high. We normally enjoy it - I think Neal was starting to get a bit annoyed with me at the end! I'm glad you were all entertained, I was having a heart attack."

18:12Looks like Jamie Murray is poised to keep the Murray flag flying at Wimbledon. He and Casey Dellacqua lead Tecau/Mirza 7-4, 4-1, hoping to join Broadski in the quarter-finals.

18:12

18:08Skupski saves a break point with a second-serve ace and now they have an 11th match point. It feels like everyone is watching this match... A completely LUDICROUS RALLY to finish - but finally Svitolina nets and Skupski and Broady have won the WHOLE OF WIMBLEDON. No wait, they're in the quarter-finals.

18:06Trouble at 0-30 but the Brits battle their way to a ninth match point... OMG, Broady looks to have won it with a volley cross-court, but Svitolina somehow flicks it back past Broady. This is agony... Here's a 10th match point. GAH BROADY NETS A SMASH!!

18:02Skupski and Broady miss an incredible eight match points in an epic game and now they'll have to try to serve out the win - which might not be as easy as it sounds after all that melodrama.

18:00Eight match points now... Back to deuce.

17:53Great mixed doubles drama on No.1 Court where Brits Naomi Broady and Neal Skupski are trying to reach the quarters. They've had five match points so far...

17:52

17:51

17:45According to my very scratchy research, the official sports of Canada are ice hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the summer. A survey in 2013 found that the top five sports by participation are: golf, ice hockey, football/soccer, basketball, volleyball. Tennis doesn't feature in the top 10.

Email from Brian

17:42"I can't believe how quickly Canadian professional tennis has improved in the last few years. Prior to Milos and Genie, even a first round grand slam win by one Canadian was a major accomplishment for decades, but now there are 2 Canadians in the semi-finals and one just reached the final. It's simply incredible!"

17:31The Mighty Bouch

Attack of the Stat

17:25At the end of the two women's singles semis in 2013, a total of 752 aces had been hit . This year, the current total is 885. Last year, double faults were 734, this year we're only at 715. I conclude serving is a bit better this year.

Email from Jeremy

17:22Hey guys ! Just to remind you that Eugenie Bouchard hasn’t lost a single set in the whole tournament. That’s impressive...

17:16Hey Canada, it's not all about you. Could Great Britain have three players in the mixed doubles quarter-finals? Wildcards Neil Skupski and Naomi Broady have taken Mergea/Svitolina into a decider. Jamie Murray and Aussie partner Casey Dellacqua are just getting going against Tecau/Mirza.

Email from Cathy in Ontario

17:14Genie Bouchard in the Final! Sweet, so very sweet!

Petra Kvitova on her Wimbledon record

17:13"I can describe really easily: it's Wimbledon. It's the best tournament in the world for me definitely. I mean, this is what makes tennis special."

17:03

Bouchard Bandwagon

16:59Seems like every famous Canadian is tweeting about Genie Bouchard right now. Every famous Canadian, that is, except Justin Bieber. Come on Biebs, get on it.

16:58

16:56As pointed out by one of our lovely emailers the other day: Maria Sharapova was the No.13 seed when she won the title here 10 years ago. Genie Bouchard? Yeah, she's the No.13 seed.

Email from Steph in Halifax, Canada

16:55Bouchard has me so excited, I can hardly concentrate at work... Go Genie!

16:53

Bouchard on facing Kvitova

16:52"I expect a tough challenge. She'll be prepared and I will be too. I'm just gonna go out there and go play my game. I believe I can play better than today. It's really cool (to get to the final). I'm glad I got to stay at Wimbledon for the whole two weeks. I'm just gonna leave it all on the court and see what happens."

Bouchard on the end of the match

16:51"It was a little crazy. I've never really ended a match like that. I'm happy I kept my focus and didn't get distracted... It took a little bit of mental strength."

Genie Bouchard on reaching the final

16:49"I'm really excited. I can't wait to play. I'm just gonna go for it. I'll have probably my toughest match yet... I never say I'm surprised (by progress) because I've put in a lot of hard work. I believe in myself and expect good results - and I always want more."

16:44Muted celebrations from Genie Bouchard i'd say. Hey, she still wants to win one more. The 20-year-old will play 2011 champion Petra Kvitova in Saturday's final. It could be a cracker, couldn't it?

Bouchard def. Halep 7-6, 6-2

16:39Bouchard sends down a big first serve and safely tucks away the short return. Another two match points. WILD backhand - wide and indeed long. That's four match points that have come and gone. Here's a fifth: DOUBLE FAULT! So tense. Now a backhand into the net gives Halep break point but the Romanian just misses with a forehand. Halep goes long now and a sixth match point - FINALLY! She finds the big serve out wide and Halep can't get it back. Bouchard is the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam singles final.

Bouchard *7-6 5-2 Halep

16:33Halep clatters the net to give Bouchard two match points. What's this? Bouchard distracted by a shout from the crowd and she's arguing with the umpire that the point should be replayed, I think. No chance. On the second match point, she goes well long. Back to deuce a couple of times before Halep again nets. Match point Bouchard but Halep clips the line with a forehand. The Romanian clings on.

Bouchard 7-6 5-1* Halep

16:30She's only 20 and she's in her first semi-final here, so it's not surprising that the nerves have struck. Bouchard's serve has gone a bit wonky but she comes through from deuce. One game away from her maiden Grand Slam final.

16:26Daniel Nestor has gone out, but Vasek Pospisil ensures there'll be a Canadian in the men's doubles semi-finals. He and Jack Sock stun No.2 seeds Alex Peya and Bruno Soares in four sets. It really is turning into Canada's Wimbledon.

Bouchard *7-6 4-1 Halep

16:24Bouchard is showing no sign of letting up and as she ups her game, Halep is wilting. She overcooks a forehand and is break point down before hitting the net with a forehand.

Bouchard *7-6 2-1 Halep

16:18Yikes, two double-faults in the game from Halep - the second on a second break point - and Bouchard is in complete control of this match.

Leander Paes on the fans

16:17"They're like the wind beneath our wings. They make us soar to heights on tough matches like this."

16:15Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek are through to the men's doubles semi-finals, coming from a set down to beat Daniel Nestor (sorry, Canada) and Nenad Zimonjic.

16:12Can Halep launch a comeback on Centre?

16:10

Bouchard 7-6 Halep

16:06Halep switches sides with a 4-2 lead but then finds herself 5-4 down after a couple of errors. Now the Romanian just misses with a forehand and Bouchard has two set points. The Canadian absolutely creams the return, but Halep sends it down the line with interest. Bouchard serving now, and a bold drive volley does the trick. Advantage Canada.

16:03It's over 25C today and probably hotter inside Centre Court in the blazing sunshine. This is horrible for the players, who sit courtside while all this is going on. A lady is helped from her seat and out of the stadium, and we can continue.

Bouchard 6-6 Halep

16:01A break in play during the tie-break as a person in the crowd is being treated for illness.

Bouchard 6-6 Halep

15:54Trouble for Halep as Bouchard's hard-hitting gets her on the defensive and the Romanian is 15-30 down. Neither player finding any kind of consistency out there.. but at game point, Halep wins the best rally of the match so far with a backhand down the line and that should give her a boost going into the tie-break.

Bouchard 6-5* Halep

15:50Bouchard sends a forehand miles over the baseline and it's danger time at 0-30. No problem though, Bouchard reels off the next four points to edge ahead again.

15:46Every year, similar topics crop up in your emails, principally 'Who's the man in the black hat?' and 'When will it stop raining?' We thought we'd answer them all in one neat blog - so you need never ask again...

Bouchard *4-4 Halep

15:39Big round of applause as Halep wellies a volley over the baseline. They're backing the Mighty Bouch apparently. The Canadian has two break points but Halep goes on the attack and saves both. Still nerves on both sides it seems.

15:36Can Bouchard reach her first Grand Slam final?

Bouchard *3-3 Halep

15:32Not sure she's entirely moving comfortably, and the shock of that ankle turn might have affected her state of mind more than anything, but Halep holds from deuce.

Bouchard 3-2* Halep

15:29The good news for Halep is that she doesn't have to come out to serve after that treatment on her ankle. Bouchard holds to 30, now we'll see how Halep gets on in her service game.

Friday Order of Play

15:25There are no flies on the Referees' Office. Tomorrow will see Djokovic meet Dimitrov at 1pm, followed by Federer v Raonic. Take the afternoon off. Wimbledon says so.

Bouchard *2-2 Halep

15:23Halep is getting tape applied to her left ankle. Really hope this doesn't have any long-term effect on this match.

Bouchard *2-2 Halep

15:20Yikes. Simona Halep is broken - but even worse, she gets her ankle caught as she slides along the turf, and it's a horrible turn. She calls for the trainer immediately.

Bouchard 1-2* Halep

15:11It's a little bit breezy out there and maybe it's messing with Bouchard's serve. She can't find the first delivery and Halep strikes first with a break.

15:08

15:06Tornado Black is creating a storm in the tennis world

15:03If Halep wins this match, she'll become the new world No.2; if Bouchard wins, she'll become the highest-ranked Canadian ever at No.7.

15:00That break went quickly: Genie Bouchard and Simona Halep are walking onto Centre. It's a first Wimbledon semi-final for both. Who'll handle it better?

14:53Tornado wasn't born with that name by the way. Their parents Gayal and Sky gave plain old Alicia the moniker when she was 3 and "playing out of her mind", according to Gayal. Then when her younger sister was born, they knew they were on to something and called her Tyra Hurricane. Both Tornado and Hurricane are now potential stars of the future - with marketing savvy parents.

14:50This break gives me a chance to tell you Tornado Black has blown away Britain's Katie Boulter on Court 17, winning 6-1, 6-2 to reach the girls' singles quarter-finals.

14:49Friends again: Kvitova and Safarova hug after their semi-final

14:41If you didn't already know, there'll be a brief delay between the two semi-finals to give us all a chance to catch our breath.

14:39

Kvitova on reaching the final again

14:34"I know how it feels to hold the trophy. I really want to win my second title here and I will do everything I can."

Petra Kvitova

14:33"It was a tough match mentally because Lucie is a good friend of mine. I knew she would play her best tennis and she did. I'm just happy I won definitely."

Kvitova def. Safarova 7-6, 6-1

14:28A booming ace that echoes around Centre Court brings up 40-0 and three match points for Kvitova. She needs only one, sending a backhand into the open court and moving into her second Wimbledon final.

Safarova 6-7, 1-5* Kvitova

14:27The momentum all with her, Kvitova grabs the second break and she will serve for a place in the final.

Safarova *6-7, 1-4 Kvitova

14:20Safarova is 27 and yes, this is her ninth Wimbledon - she made her debut in 2005. She has a chance to break back here, but slaps the net with a big return down the line. These are the margins...

Email from Phiroza

14:18How old is Safarova? Is this her 9th Wimby?!

Safarova *6-7, 0-3 Kvitova

14:10Petra Kvitova is really into this match now - pumping her fist after every point she wins and glaring at her box. From deuce, she holds and moves three games away from a second Wimbledon final.

14:07

14:03The FIFA Cup, Jane? Bet Sepp would love that. Never mind, here's your Canadian update: Francoise Abanda is out I'm afraid, but Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil are going along nicely. Nestor/Zimonjic lead Paes/Stepanek 6-2, 3-2. Pospisil/Sock lead Peya/Soares 5-4 with a break.

Email from Jane (in Canada presumably)

14:02Not only are we CHEERING on Milos and Genie, let’s not forget Daniel Nestor (Gentlemen’s Doubles QF and Mixed Doubles QF), Vasek Pospisil (Gentlemen’s Doubles QF), Francoise Abanda (Girls’ Singles) and Katherine Sebov (Girls’ Doubles). We may not have a team at the FIFA Cup but Wimbledon watch out!!

Safarova 6-7 Kvitova

14:00Petra Kvitova yells in delight and looks up to her support camp. After a very close set, the former champion snatches the advantage by forcing a couple of errors from the Safarova racket.

Safarova 6-6 Kvitova

13:55Safarova down an early break but she threads the needle up the line off the backhand and then an ace makes it 4-4. Yeesh. Poor forehand from Safarova gives up the mini-break again. But a thumping return sets up the winner and we're back level again. Kvitova has the first set point - but sends the return wide.

Safarova 6-6 Kvitova

13:52She loses the first point but Kvitova steels herself to hold comfortably and take us into a tie-break. I have no idea where this is going to go...although Kvitova's breaker record is slightly better than Safarova's.

Safarova 6-5* Kvitova

13:48Can Lucie Safarova win Wimbledon? She's showing no sign of being overawed in her first Grand Slam semi-final. Kvitova to serve to stay in the first set for the second time.

13:45

Safarova 4-3* Kvitova

13:34Safarova's Wimbledon results till 2013: 1R, 3R, 1R, 1R, 1R, 2R, 1R, 2R. You could understand the early nerves but she's right in this now, going toe to toe with the 2011 champion.

13:27The No.1 boys' seed is GONE. Andrey Rublev - trying for a French Open-Wimbledon double - goes down 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 to the Netherlands' Tim van Rijthoven.

Safarova *2-2 Kvitova

13:25Lucie Safarova's dad is grinning like a Cheshire cat as his daughter gets the better of Petra Kvitova in a baseline battle to recover that early break.

Pam Shriver on Safarova and Kvitova chatting before match

13:22"It's nice before a match that you're comfortable enough with your opponent. Who knows what they were talking about? Maybe not tennis. It was nice to see, very sporting."

13:19There's a very Czech and Canadian flavour to this year's Wimbledon. Sign of things to come? Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic beats Francoise Abanda of Canada in three to move into the girls' quarter-finals.

13:19

Safarova *0-2 Kvitova

13:16Lucie Safarova, playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final, is off to a shaky start. She's broken in the opening game and Kvitova backs it up by holding from deuce.

Email from Bard

13:14Anyone want to wager a bet on the number of poor chess-variety puns levied at the first Ladies' SF by the Twitterati?

13:07No.7 seed Francis Tiafoe is out of the boys' singles, losing in three to American compatriot Noah Rubin. Tiafoe arrived here having only ever seen Wimbledon on telly. The 16-year-old was stunned by the scenes on The Hill. "To get to see it live for the first time, it’s an extraordinary feeling,” he told the Washington Post.

13:07

13:03Bit of a weird ending to that closely-matched doubles match on No.3 Court. After splitting the first two sets, Errani/Vinci trample all over Barty/Dellacqua in the decider, taking it 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals.

13:00Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova are standing behind the famous green doors on Centre, chatting away merrily as they await the walk-on. Lovely. But now down to business.

12:56Centre Court plays host to the ladies' semi-finals today

12:53Centre Court is beginning to fill up and we're rushing headlong towards our two women's semi-finals. First up: Czech mates (sorry) Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova.

12:45Those junior matches we were focusing on earlier have both gone into deciders: the combustible No.1 seed Andrey Rublev took the second set against Tim van Rijthoven coming from a break down, while Francis Tiafoe and American compatriot Noah Rubin are also going to the wire.

12:39In a very neat segway to the present day: Lucie Safarova reached her only other Grand Slam quarter-final at the Aussie Open in 2007. She lost to... Nicole Vaidisova. Vaidisova recently denied reports she is planning a comeback and said she doesn't even own a tennis racket anymore. She split from husband Radek Stepanek in June last year.

On This Day in 2007

12:35Ana Ivanovic saved three match points to beat Nicole Vaidisova in an engrossing quarter-final. "Meh," you're thinking. But you'd be wrong: it became known as the match that broke Vaidisova, who was never the same again and retired in 2010 aged 20.

12:30

12:22A cracking doubles encounter to begin the day on No.3 Court: No.6 seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci took the first set against Aussies Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty - but the No.6 seeds are 3-0 up in the second set. They met at the French Open last month, with the Italians winning 6-0, 6-1. Grass an altogether different prospect though.

12:17Over on Court 18, another Brit - 16-year-old Gabi Taylor - is about to get going in her third-round match against Paula Badosa Gilbert. Taylor won a round in women's qualifying - not bad considering she doesn't even have a WTA ranking yet.

12:12We've got a BRITISH quarter-finalist: Josh Sapwell beats Pedro Iamachkine in straight sets to reach the last eight of the boys' singles.

12:09

11:57Our No.1 boys' seed Andrey Rublev is in trouble. He's a set down to Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven - who is a former champion at the awesomely named Chickeeduck Hong Kong Open Junior Tennis Championships.

11:54

11:47Trying to resist the charge of the seven Americans remaining in the boys' singles is No.1 seed Andrey Rublev. The 16-year-old Russian won the French Open juniors last month. Andrei Rublev was also the name of a 15th century artist considered to be the greatest medieval Russian painter of Orthodox icons and frescoes. Thanks Wikipedia!

11:42

Weather

11:38I've become so used to this sunshine, I've forgotten to bring you the forecast. It is - of course - wall to wall sunshine from dawn till dusk. Temperatures up to a frankly inhumane 26C (79F).

11:37

11:31If you're in the grounds already, can I recommend a stroll to Court 6 where you can catch 16-year-old Francis Tiafoe in action. He's an American who has been tipped for the top. He's also very, very inexperienced on grass - hence he's currently 4-2 down against fellow American Noah Rubin.

11:30

11:28Also settling down onto those amply cushioned seats will be Ian Thorpe, who tweeted yesterday to Nick Kyrgios: "great watching you succeed at #Wimbledon2014 I'll be at Sw19 to cheer you all the way. All of us are behind you." Shortly after the 19-year-old lost to Milos Raonic.

Royal Box

11:16The list is in and there are some very familiar names: actors Eddie Redmayne, Colin Firth and Dame Maggie Smith, comedienne Miranda Hart, entertainment giant Sir Michael Parkinson and - just in case in rains - Sir Cliff Richard and partner in crime Cilla Black.

11:12Murray's words haven't stopped the UK's newspapers speculating on the reasons behind his loss. Many of them focus on a 'muttering mystery,' reporting that the Brit was heard to say on court "five minutes before the (expletive) match." Who knows?

Andy Murray in his BBC Sport column

11:10"There was nothing different in the build-up and no reason to expect that kind of performance... I was nervous, I felt the butterflies and was excited about the match, but that's perfectly normal. I didn't feel overcome by the moment, but I certainly wasn't very good when I got out on court."

11:08While we look forward to the women's semi-finals, Andy Murray is contemplating what to do with some unexpected - and unwanted - free time. The defending champion was totally out-of-sorts as he was bundled out of the tournament by an in-form Grigor Dimitrov.

11:03This is the first ever all-Czech women's semi-final at a Grand Slam. 2011 champ Kvitova will be the favourite given her dominant 5-0 record against Safarova - but her last win came in a tight third-set tie-break at Eastbourne a couple of weeks ago.

Petra Kvitova

10:59"It's going to be my third match against Czech girl actually during the Wimbledon, which is unusual. We played last time in Eastbourne. It was big fight until the end. I'm expecting tough battle again."

10:55

10:49Simona Halep, aged 22, and Genie Bouchard, 20, are the two in-form Grand Slam players of the year - both with 15 wins each. They've played once before, with Halep winning in three sets at Indian Wells this year.

Simona Halep

10:45"I have confidence in myself. I believe that I can win, but I expect a tough match. She's a great player and she's playing really well, so I have just to enjoy it. "

Email from Tony

10:36We are no longer talking favorites here at the tennis industry. We are watching now a new set of tennis stars are coming. Exciting to look forward who has the best throwing shots!

10:30So I can't call it (although if pushed I might say Kvitova and Halep), can you do any better? Get in touch on socialmedia@aeltc.com or tweet me @carolinecheese

10:24No Sharapova, no Serena, no Li Na, but what we're left with are two finely balanced, difficult to call semi-finals. One all-Czech and all lefty (Kvitova v Safarova), the other a clash of the rising stars (Bouchard v Halep).

10:23

Morning!

10:19Welcome to the business end of this Wimbledon, which kicks off with two more than intriguing women's semi-finals today. And plenty of doubles and junior action to boot.


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