Halep, Bouchard offer glimpse of future in semis

Wed Jul 2, 2014 3:09pm EDT
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By Sam Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - The women's semi-finals at Wimbledon on Thursday will provide a glimpse into the future of the women's game and a nod to its recent past.

Rising stars Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard will meet in one semi-final after they impressed in quarter-final victories on Wednesday, while Czech pair Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova complete the contrasting semi-final line-up.

With only one grand slam title between the quartet, there might be some raised eyebrows on Center Court, yet it is the presence of veterans Safarova and Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, that is perhaps most surprising.

Romanian Halep and Canada's Bouchard have been in sparkling form and are the only players to have reached at least the last eight of all three grand slams so far in 2014.

They are also the only women from Romania and Canada to make it this far at Wimbledon.

However, sixth-seeded Kvitova has not been in a grand slam semi-final since the 2012 French Open, and 23rd seed Safarova will be making her first ever grand slam semi-final appearance at the 37th attempt.

Halep, the third seed, came back from losing the first three games of the match to trounce last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-0 and continue the great championship form that has seen her record career-best results in consecutive grand slams.

Not to be outdone, 13th seed Bouchard overcame her ninth-seeded opponent Angelique Kerber - who shocked Center Court with a victory over Maria Sharapova on Tuesday - 6-3 6-4.   Continued...

Simona Halep of Romania reacts after defeating Sabine Lisicki of Germany in their women's singles quarter-final tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London July 2, 2014.         REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth