LONDON — Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard will break into the ranking top 10 for the first time after defeating ninth seed Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon.
The 20-year-old from Westmount, Que., is expected to reach at least eighth on the WTA list next Monday, equalling the career-best WTA ranking held by a Canadian (Carling Bassett-Seguso).
Bouchard will be playing her third semi from as many Grand Slams this year on Thursday as she faces French Open finalist and third-seed Simona Halep after the Romanian crushed 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-0.
Bouchard struggled to close out her win over Kerber, who she beat a month ago on the clay of Paris.
The Canadian finally advanced after 72 minutes on her first match point, which she set up with a down-the-line winner followed a point later by a Kerber backhand error.
“It was a tough battle, I’ve played her before and I knew what to expect. I had to just keep fighting and I pulled it out at the end,” Bouchard said.
The Canadian saved two break points in the final game and ended with three breaks of serve from 13 chances. She had 29 winners and 20 unforced errors.
“In the last game, I was just trying to stay in the moment,” said the winner, now 7-1 at Wimbledon. “I was not thinking ahead. That’s something I’ve been working on.”
“I had a few bad errors in that game but I also hit some aggressive shots, that’s just my game,” she said.
The Canadian lost her only previous meeting against Halep, on hardcourt at Indian Wells last March.
“She’s a good player and I’m ready for another tough match,” Bouchard said.
“I’m excited to be in the semifinals against (her), but I want to go further for sure.”
Canada’s Milos Raonic, the eighth seed from Thornhill, Ont., was aiming to join Bouchard in a final-four place as he faced Nick Kyrgios, the Australian wild card ranked 144 who knocked out world No. 1 Rafael Nadal on Tuesday.