The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

5 things to watch in women's semifinals at Wimbledon: Halep-Bouchard, Kvitova-Safarova

  • Print

LONDON - For the fourth year in a row, three women will divide the season's first three Grand Slam titles, no matter who winds up lifting the trophy at Wimbledon on Saturday.

So far in 2014, Li Na won the Australian Open, then lost in the first round at the French Open and the third round at the All England Club. Maria Sharapova won the French Open, but was beaten in the fourth round at the other two majors.

In Thursday's semifinals, No. 6-seeded Petra Kvitova will play No. 23 Lucie Safarova, before No. 3 Simona Halep faces No. 18 Eugenie Bouchard. Kvitova is the only member of that group who already owns a major championship: She won Wimbledon in 2011.

Here are five things to watch at Wimbledon in the women's semifinals:

HALEP VS. BOUCHARD: Halep won their only previous match, on a hard court at Indian Wells, Calif., in March. Halep is all about court coverage and finding angles; she won the French Open girls' title in 2008. Bouchard is a more powerful hitter who was the Wimbledon girls' champion in 2012. "Her style, it's dangerous on grass because she's playing very flat (shots)," Halep said. "She stays very close to the baseline, so she's playing fast.

HALEP: The Romanian's progression at tennis' four most important tournaments has been impressive. She had never been past the third round at a Grand Slam until last year, when she made it to the fourth round at the U.S. Open. Then she reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January, and got to the final at the French Open last month. Including her five wins at Wimbledon so far, she is 18-3 at her last four majors (an .857 winning percentage) — after going 7-13 (.350) for her career before that. "It's tough to think that I can win a Grand Slam title, still," Halep said. "Doesn't matter if I was very close (at the) French Open."

BOUCHARD: The first Canadian woman to reach Wimbledon's semifinals, the 20-year-old Bouchard is the youngest player ranked in the top 20 at the moment — and will move into the top 10 on Monday. She is only the sixth woman since 2000 to get to at least the semis at a season's first three majors, joining Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Dinara Safina. So far, though, Bouchard is 0-2 in her Grand Slam semifinals. "I'm excited to be in the semis," she said. "But, of course, you know, never satisfied, so definitely want to go a step further — or as far as I can."

KVITOVA VS. SAFAROVA: This will be the first Grand Slam semifinal between two Czech women. They also both happen to be left-handers. Kvitova has won 14 consecutive matches against lefties, and she's 5-0 for her career against Safarova, including a three-set victory on grass at Eastbourne last month. But Kvitova has only had to beat one seeded player so far this fortnight, No. 30 Venus Williams, while Safarova eliminated No. 10 Dominika Cilbulkova and No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova.

KVITOVA: As of now, the 24-year-old Kvitova is the only player born in the 1990s to have won a major title, and she loves the grass of the All England Club, where she is 24-5 for her career, compared to 36-18 at the other Slams. Safarova, meanwhile, will be playing in her firsts major semifinal and had been 4-8 at Wimbledon until last week.


Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jaws of life used to free two people after two-car collision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google