Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ivanovic joins Serena as a spectator in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia — Eugenie Bouchard reached the semifinals in her first trip to the Australian Open, beating 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 early this morning to set up a showdown with fourth-seeded Li Na.

The result means two-time Australian Open finalist Li, who beat Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2 in an earlier quarterfinal featuring two women who'll turn 32 next month, will have to face a teenager for the third time in the tournament.

Bouchard, 19, the first Canadian to reach the Australian semifinals, played with composure against former No. 1-ranked Ivanovic, who started the season with a title at Auckland, New Zealand, and produced a major upset to eliminate top-ranked Serena Williams in the fourth round here.

Bouchard went to the net 24 times and won 19 of those points. She broke Ivanovic's serve seven times, including the last game, and had to sit through a long timeout when she was trailing 4-3 in the second set while her opponent received treatment.

The WTA Tour's newcomer of the year in 2013, Bouchard is playing just her fourth Grand Slam tournament, having lost in the second rounds at the French Open and U.S. Open last year and reached the third round at Wimbledon, the only previous major where she'd managed back-to-back victories. The second of those was against Ivanovic, in straight sets — their only previous meeting.

Bouchard, from Montreal, has a growing group of supporters at Melbourne Park. After each match, fans have presented her with a different stuffed, fluffy Australian animal. She now has a kangaroo, a kookaburra and a wombat in her collection.

Li is also a crowd favorite in Australia, where she lost the finals last year to Victoria Azarenka and in 2011 to Kim Clijsters and has reached the semifinals four times in the past five years. Azarenka, the two-time defending champion, is in the other half of the draw.

Li won her only previous match against Bouchard in straight sets at Montreal in 2012.

"We had a tough battle last time, and I think I didn't have a lot of experience back then," Bouchard said. This time I think I'll be ready."

Li beat two 16-year-olds in the opening rounds and had to save a match point against Lucie Safarova in the third. Against No. 28 Pennetta, she was relentless, keeping the mistakes down while going for her winners.

"After saving the match point, I think I got a lot of confidence," Li said of her close call in the third round. "Even more belief in myself."

Li lost her serve just once and finished off the 67-minute match with an easy forehand to the open court.

Tonight on TV

7, Tennis Channel; 9, ESPN2

Ivanovic joins Serena as a spectator in Australia 01/20/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  2. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State

    College

    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Lightning confused by NHL's slashing crackdown

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — D Victor Hedman said the joke in the Lightning locker room before Friday's exhibition game was that the over/under on slashing penalties would be six.

    "It was the over again," Hedman quipped.

    Wing Ryan Callahan, left,  pursues the Predators’ Colton Sissons, being careful how he uses his stick given the crackdown on slashing in the preseason. “It’s hard to defend when you’re so used to doing something for so long and now it’s a penalty,” Callahan says.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.