Tennis superstar Eugenie Bouchard has qualified for her first WTA semi-final since 2018 after defeating Montenegro rival Danka Kovinic in the Istanbul Tennis Championship on Friday.
Bouchard shot to fame in 2014 when she qualified for three grand slam semi-finals in a calendar year, including a Wimbledon final against Czech star Petra Kvitova.
But after climbing to fifth spot in the WTA rankings, Bouchard suffered a horror slump in form, dropping to 272nd in the world.
However, the Canadian has seemingly rediscovered her mojo since the coronavirus lockdown, winning five consecutive matches in as many days in Turkey.
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On Thursday, Bouchard knocked out the top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets, her first victory over a top-30 opponent in two years.
In the quarterfinal, World No. 92 Kovinic broke serve early and claimed the opening set, but Bouchard fought back to claim a stellar 3-6 6-4 7-5 victory. Bizarrely, Kovinic managed seven aces in the three-hour contest, while Bouchard registered none.
As revealed by tennis journalist Jose Morgado, Bouchard is officially back in the top 200 following Friday’s victory. However, she still can’t qualify for the upcoming French Open, unless she is given a wildcard as a former semi-finalist.
Due to her low ranking, the 26-year-old was not eligible for the US Open, which cancelled its qualifying tournament due to COVID-19.
In August, Bouchard qualified for the quarterfinal of the Prague Open before she was knocked out by World No. 18 Elise Mertens.
“The remainder of the year is just so unpredictable,” Bouchard said on Thursday.
“I’m just kind of living week by week, day by day. Tournaments are popping up every day, tournaments are getting cancelled every day. It’s kind of crazy. I don’t even know what I’m doing next week. I just know I have a match tomorrow and that’s it.”
Bouchard will take on Spain’s Paula Badosa Gibert in Saturday’s semi-final.
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