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WTA Rising Star Eugenie Bouchard came back from the brink to defeat Carla Suárez Navarro, 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-5, at Roland Garros on Friday to reach her second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal.
Despite her tender years, Bouchard has already proved a number of times her big match temperament. In the fourth round, she exhibited this quality once more, putting on a clay court masterclass to see off Angelique Kerber and set up a meeting with the gifted Suárez Navarro.
The Turning Point
After two see-saw sets, it looked like the final swing of the pendulum was going to take Suárez Navarro through to her maiden Grand Slam semifinal. But having built a 4-1 lead in the decider, Suárez Navarro tightened up, and she was punished for her more conservative approach when the Canadian pegged her back.
At 5-5, a terrific drive volley brought Bouchard the chance to move ahead, which she snapped up with another pin-point return. There was still time for more drama, as a couple of overrules from the umpire and a double fault held up the victory celebrations, before she finally made it across the finish line at the third time of asking when Suárez Navarro netted a backhand.
"I want to thank everyone here for creating such a great atmosphere," Bouchard said after the match. "I didn't expect to play such a tough match. She played really well and is a great clay court player.
"At the end of the third set I thought I was getting the upper hand began to believe that I could win. I'm just excited to be in the semifinals and to stay a little longer in Paris. I'm just going to enjoy myself in the semifinals."
There she will be facing 2012 champion Maria Sharapova, who recovered to see off Garbiñe Muguruza in three sets over on Philippe Chatrier.