The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Montreal's Eugenie Bouchard eliminated from Australian Open semifinal

  • Print

MELBOURNE, Australia - Montreal's Eugenie Bouchard is out of the Australian Open.

China's Li Na defeated Bouchard 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday in the semifinal of the women's singles tournament.

The 19-year-old Bouchard is the first Canadian woman to reach the final four of a Grand Slam tournament in 30 years.

"I'm proud of how I've improved as a player throughout the tournament. But I'm never satisfied with losing. I'm always disappointed," said Bouchard, who received a fifth stuffed Aussie animal — an Emu named Sheila — from her Australian fans dubbed the Genie Army.

"I always want to go further and do better. I wouldn't say I exceeded my expectations, but I'm happy with how I did."

Li, the No. 4-seed and the 2011 French Open champion, is the only major winner and the highest-ranked player still in contention after the fourth-round upsets of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Defending champion Victoria Azarenka's lost in the quarter-final to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Li will face Dominika Cibulkova in the final, after the Slovakian defeated No. 5 seed Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 in the second semifinal later Thursday.

Bouchard was determined to build off the success she experienced at the Australian Open.

"I've been working hard my whole life to do this, play at Grand Slams and do well," said Bouchard. "It's not an overnight thing. So I'm just going to go back to the practice courts and keep working hard."

Li, who lost last year's final to Azarenka, was aggressive from the start against Bouchard, who started nervously and didn't win a point in her first three service games.

Fittingly, Li finished off the match with a backhand crosscourt, one of 16 backhand winners in the match and her biggest weapon against Bouchard.

"I think maybe she will be best player in the world. But today (I'm) so lucky," said Li during a court-side interview after the match.

Li jokingly apologized to the Genie Army after the match, undoubtedly increasing her own huge support base at Melbourne Park.

"Sorry about that," she said. "If you guys be happy, I will go home."

Bouchard said she changed her strategy to get out of her early slump.

"I just wanted to get into the match a little bit more. I felt like she was really hitting her shots. I was just letting her do all these winners side to side, it wasn't really my game," said Bouchard. "I tried to get into the rallies more, try to step in a little bit more, and try to put more pressure on her because she was just putting a lot of pressure on me.

"She didn't give me much breathing space, much room to do what I want to do on the court. I tried to put pressure, but she just played too good at moments."

Earlier in the day, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic were beaten by American Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen of South Africa 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal of the men's doubles tournament.

The defeat leaves the 41-year-old Nestor to concentrate on the mixed-doubles event after winning 12 straight matches and winning Australian titles in Brisbane and Sydney with two different partners.

"This was a little bit of a let down, but all credit to them," said Nestor. "They came out firing an showed why they were in the semifinals. They were going for their shots and making them.

"They played really well, very aggressive. We started slow and that probably gave them confidence."

The match lasted just 64 minutes, with Zimonjic losing serve twice in the opening set.

Nestor, holder of a record 83 career doubles titles, was unable to carry the entire load as he and Zimonjic re-united this season after a few seasons with other partners.

Butorac and Klaasen are an unseeded team which had knocked out Australian Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt plus the world No. 1 Bryan brothers from the United States.

"We didn't assert ourselves and that's what the top teams should do," said Nestor. "On paper we were the best team remaining in the semifinals.

"This was a chance lost to possibly win a Grand Slam - and who knows when we might get that chance again."

Nestor won his only Australian men's trophy in 1998 with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, the first of his four finals at the event.

Nestor and Zimonjic finished with 19 winners but never earned a break point and were broken three times.

— With files from The Associated Press.

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

    No

  • 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Blake Wheeler talks about past season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • 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

Poll

What Western Conference teams will emerge from the first round of the NHL playoffs?

View Results

Ads by Google