Teen upsets Ivanovic to make Aussie semis
MELBOURNE -- Teenager Eugenie Bouchard reinforced her status as one of the game's most exciting prospects by upsetting Ana Ivanovic to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open Tuesday.
The 19-year-old Canadian, the WTA's newcomer of the year in 2013, showed composure to come from a set down and beat the 14th-ranked Serb 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 and set up a last-four clash with Li Na.
It was all the more remarkable in that she is making her tournament debut, with the victory forecast to push her into the world's top 20 when the new rankings are released next week.
"I feel like she was playing really well and I had to keep fighting and playing aggressive," she said. "I feel like I stepped it up in the second and third sets."
The shock win ended the resurgence of former world No. 1 Ivanovic, who came into the tournament on the back of winning the Auckland International and beat Serena Williams in the third round.
Ivanovic, who took a medical timeout in the second set with an apparent groin problem, was aiming to make her first Grand Slam semi-final since 2008, when she won the French Open and made the Australian Open final.
Bouchard has a booming serve and she blasted through her opening service game on Rod Laver Arena to love before Ivanovic also comfortably held.
The Serb's probing groundstrokes gave her two break points as she started to get the measure of the Canadian, but she was unable to convert either.
There was little between them as Ivanovic kept the match on an even keel, serving for 2-2, as they both searched for any weakness.
Bouchard held and then created a break point chance in the next but the Serb stepped it up with the Canadian putting a forehand wide.
Ivanovic put pressure on the teen's serve and a double fault handed her a break point. Bouchard saved but a wild backhand created another, only for the Serb's forehand return to go wide.
But Ivanovic kept pressing and she had another chance, this time taking it when the teenager sent a volley long.
Undaunted, the Canadian bounced straight back with a sizzling forehand winner, hauling her back to level-pegging. But in a see-sawing set, the Serb struck again in the ninth game after Bouchard drilled a forehand wide.
With luck on her side, Bouchard broke back after a being awarded a point for a ball that replays showed was out. Ivanovic kept playing and didn't challenge, but made her frustration known to the umpire.
But the Serb didn't let it get to her and she broke again to love then confidently served to take the first set.
Despite playing in only her fourth Grand Slam, Bouchard also showed maturity to hold serve in the second set and force two break points in the fourth, converting the second.
She served to go 4-1 in front but Ivanovic came roaring back in a tense seventh game to break on her third chance.
Ivanovic called a medical timeout at the changeover. She lost her serve to love on her return but showed courage to break straight back and hold serve to be 5-5.
But the fightback counted for nothing with a double fault on set point allowing the Canadian to level the match.
Bouchard was on a roll and Ivanovic had to save a break point in the second game of the third set before succumbing to the unrelenting Canadian in the fourth game to go 3-1 down, and there was no way back.
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