Bouchard hopes to topple Sharapova from pedestal in Paris

Tue Jun 3, 2014 3:55pm EDT
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By Alison Williams

PARIS (Reuters) - Just like her one-time idol Maria Sharapova, Eugenie Bouchard likes a scrap, as she proved again by twice overturning daunting deficits to clinch a French Open semi-final spot on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Canadian trailed 5-2 in the first set and 4-1 in the third before fighting back to send Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro packing 7-6(4) 2-6 7-5.

She will have to summon that same never-say-die spirit when she meets 2012 champion Sharapova in the last four after the Russian clawed her way to a three-set victory over Spain's Garbine Muguruza.

"At the end of the day, whether I win or lose, I want to at least leave it all there and try and at least battle," Montreal-based Bouchard, beaten by Sharapova in the second round a year ago, told reporters.

"I'm proud of the way I did that in both the first and third. For me it was such a physical and emotional battle.

"You know, I was down. I was always coming back and fighting and trying and really kind of a grind on clay."

After reaching her second straight grand slam semi-final, the 18th seed sought to play down the oft-used description of her as the "next Sharapova", both for her style of play and her looks, saying she just wants to be herself on court.

"I respect her. But now, you know, we're in the semis of a grand slam, so I'm going to respect her but not put her too high on a pedestal and really just battle," the 20-year-old said.   Continued...

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada returns the ball to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during their  women's quarter-final match at the French Open Tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2014.      REUTERS/Vincent Kessler