A fantastic quarter-final clash has been set, as Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic and 19-year-old budding talent Eugenie Bouchard will meet for a spot in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The two met last year at the Wimbledon championships in their only ever professional contest, where Bouchard defeated the world No. 14 in straight sets.
Serena certainly was far from her best during the match-up, as she reeled off far more unforced errors than was characteristic of her. She hit only 5 winners to her 25 unforced errors, while the Serb was at her best during the second two sets. After dropping the opening set 6-4 to Williams, Ivanovic stepped up her game, firing winners from all across the court to break the American and advance to the biggest win of her career.
Ivanovic is well aware that Bouchard is a tough challenge, as she named her the “future of tennis.” She would also like to avenge her loss to the Canadian last year.
“You know, on the other hand, Bouchard, she’s very young. We had tough match in Wimbledon last year. So, you know, it’s just future of tennis. So, you know, I look forward to whoever I’m going to play.”
Bouchard marks the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Patricia Hy-Boulais reached the quarterfinals of the 1992 US Open. The 1984 US Open was the last time a Canadian reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event. The 19-year-old is excited for the opportunity and expects a great match on Monday.
“I’m excited,” Bouchard said. “We’re at a Grand Slam. I’m just so happy to be playing, and I’m looking forward to playing another match. I’m really happy to be here and hopefully I play well next match.”
Bouchard and Ivanovic met last year in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships, a contest that the Canadian won convincingly in straight straight. It was Bouchard’s breakthrough Grand Slam tournament, as she would reach the third round at SW19 for the first time in her short career.
“She beat Serena so she’s playing really well,” Bouchard said. “I’m looking forward to a really tough battle. We’re in the quarters now; she deserves to be there. No one’s going to give it to me now.”
While Bouchard holds the advantage heading into the match based on her previous victory, Ivanovic is riding an incredible wave of momentum coming off her victory over world No. 1 Serena Williams and will be extremely confident heading into the quarter-final contest. Since their only previous meeting was on grass, it will be interesting to see if Ivanovic will be more competitive on hard court, where she has made a significant impact over the past few years.
Prediction: Ivanovic in Three Sets