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Eugenie Bouchard reaches first grand slam final; Petra Kvitova awaits

Story highlights

  • Eugenie Bouchard beat Simona Halep 7-6 6-2 in Wimbledon women's semifinal
  • The 20-year-old Canadian will face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova in Saturday's final
  • Kvitova saw off Lucie Safarova 7-6 6-1 earlier in the day
  • Men's singles semifinals take place Friday
Eugenie Bouchard fell at the semifinal hurdle in the first two grand slams of 2014, but it was third time lucky for her at the All England Club.
The Canadian made the last four at both the Australian and French Opens this year only to succumb to defeats, yet there was no such repeat at Wimbledon this time around.
Bouchard saw off third-seed Simona Halep -- the highest seed left in the tournament -- 7-6 6-2 on Centre Court Thursday to reach her first-ever grand slam final.
And the 20-year-old can now become the first Canadian female in history to win a major singles title if she can pull off a victory in Saturday's showpiece.
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A highly-anticipated semifinal was at first as gripping as expected, with the 13th seed needing a tie-break to edge a neck-and-neck first set.
The second, however, was all Bouchard's, as the former Wimbledon junior champion outclassed her opponent -- who needed ankle treatment early in the match -- to book her place in the final.
"This is what I've worked for," she said after her comprehensive victory.
"But it's not a surprise to me. I expect good results like this. It's a step in the right direction. I get to play in the final. I still have another match so it's not a full celebration yet."
Waiting for her is Petra Kvitova, who saw off Lucie Safarova 7-6 6-1 in the day's earlier semifinal.
The Czech has struggled to build on her first grand slam title since winning at the All England Club in 2011, but is now one match away from repeating that success.
Kvitova claimed the women's singles championship at Wimbledon at the age of 21, yet she has previously been unable to advance past the final four of a major in the years that have past.
With compatriot Safarova coming into the match having yet to drop a set in the tournament, some fancied her to spring an upset and progress past her first-ever grand slam semifinal to reach Saturday's showpiece match.
However, sixth-seed Kvitova broke her opponent at first attempt, before going on to take a tight first set 7-6, winning 8-6 in the tie-break.
Seven games later and the 23rd seed had dropped her second set of the tournament, meaning the world number six had booked her place in her second Wimbledon final.
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Semifinal spots at the French and Australian Opens have had to tide Kvitova over since that 2011 success, but now only Bouchard stands in the way of her securing a second grand slam title.
"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," Kvitova told Wimbledon's official website.
"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."