Kvitova, Bouchard reach Wimbledon final


The Sports Network

London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Petra Kvitova is one win away from securing a second Wimbledon title in four years, while rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard secured a berth in her first-ever Grand Slam final with a big victory Thursday at The Championships.

In the first-ever Grand Slam semifinal between two Czech women, the sixth- seeded Kvitova defeated 23rd-seeded fellow left-hander Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, while the other semi saw the 13th-seeded Bouchard bounce third- seeded French Open runner-up Simona Halep 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 on Centre Court.

The 20-year-old Bouchard is the first-ever Canadian player to reach a Grand Slam final.

Bouchard toppled the Romanian Halep in 1 hour, 34 minutes in a sloppy, rather uneventful match.

Just like Thursday's opening semifinal, a tight first set was followed by a lopsided second in the Halep-Bouchard matchup.

Bouchard managed to sneak out a tiebreak in an opening set where Halep required a medical timeout only four games in (2-2) after injuring her left ankle while tracking a ball beyond the baseline.

The determined Bouchard then charged out to a 5-1 lead in the second set and ultimately converted on a sixth match point when Halep misfired short on one final backhand return.

Both players had more unforced errors than winners on Day 10, as Bouchard tallied 23 errors and 20 winners, while Halep had 23 miscues and only 13 winners.

In the Kvitova-Safarova semi, a tight first set was decided by a tight tiebreak, and that loss seemed to deflate Safarova.

Kvitova promptly raced out to a big lead in the second set, as her second break of the stanza made it 5-1 and she then closed out the match with a predictable hold by converting on her first match point on a beautiful day at the All England Club.

Kvitova won 11 of the last 13 points to advance, which she did with the help of 24 winners, including eight aces, in a match that ended in 1 hour, 20 minutes. She's dropped her serve only four times at this 2014 fortnight.

The formidable star is now a perfect 6-0 lifetime against the 27-year-old Safarova, with five of the meetings coming this year, including a win on grass in Eastbourne just two weeks ago.

The 6-foot Kvitova, the only player born in the 1990s to have won a major title, captured her lone Grand Slam championship by beating Maria Sharapova in the 2011 Wimbledon final. She's now 2-1 in her semis at the AEC, where she's 25-5 overall.

Safarova was performing in her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal in her 37th major event.

The 24-year-old Kvitova will now compete in her 16th career final, seeking a 12th title and her first one of 2014. It will mark her second Grand Slam final.

Bouchard will appear in only her third career WTA final, seeking a second title. She secured the first title of her career in Nuremberg, Germany, in May.

The Montreal native, who was the girls' Wimbledon champion two years ago, is the only woman to appear in all three major semifinals this year.

Kvitova is 1-0 lifetime versus Bouchard, with the victory coming in straight sets on the Canadian's home soil, in Toronto, last year.

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