World Tennis Association rising star Eugenie Bouchard defeated No.3 seed Simona Halep on Thursday to reach her first Grand Slam final. After taking a tight first set, Bouchard then raced into a 5-1 lead in the second. She experienced some late resistance as Halep fended off five match points before finally completing a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory with a big serve out wide. “It was a little crazy – I’ve never really ended a match like that,” Bouchard said. “I’m just happy I kept my focus and didn’t get distracted or anything and played well in the last game. “I’m not surprised to be in the final, because I’ve put in a lot of hard work and it’s been years in the making. I believe in myself and I expect good results and I always want more. I’ve had a good start to the season, but I expect myself to do even better than that and that’s what I’m going to try and do.” In the final, the Canadian will face 2011 champion Petra Kvitova who was too strong for Lucie Safarova. “I’m really excited. I have a day off tomorrow and I can’t wait to play,” she added. “It’s my first Grand Slam final so I’m just going to go for it. I’ll probably have my toughest match yet and I’m looking forward to the challenge. “She’ll go in prepared and I’ll be prepared as well – my coach will definitely watch her play and give me some tips. I’m just going to go out there and play my game. I think I can play even better today. I want to leave it all on court and we’ll see what happens.” Serena Williams exited a doubles match with sister Venus in a bizarre display of emotions. Sister, Venus, attributed it to a virus.
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