LONDON – Eugenie Bouchard’s historic run at Wimbledon has come to an end with a loss in the women’s final.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic beat Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday to claim her second Wimbledon title.
WATCH: (Jul. 5, 2014) As Christina Stevens reports, Canada’s success at Wimbledon this year has countless people jumping on the tennis bandwagon.
No Canadian had reached the Wimbledon women’s singles quarter-finals in the Open era before Bouchard. She had a breakthrough season last year and reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and French Open earlier this season.
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate Petra. She played fantastic these two weeks,” said Bouchard at centre court after the match. “It was really tough for me today, but I’m proud of how I’ve played this whole tournament.”
Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., is currently ranked 13th in the world, seven positions below Kvitova. She will rise to seventh in the WTA standings after her performance at Wimbledon.
The last three matches here were uncharted territory as Bouchard was the first Canadian in the Open era to reach the women’s quarter-finals at the All England Club. She beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 before topping Romania’s Simona Halep 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the semifinal.
“I feel like it’s a step in the right direction,” said Bouchard. “I don’t know if I deserve all your love today, but I really appreciate it.”
Bouchard was overwhelmed by Kvitova, who added a second to her first from 2011. Watching from the Royal Box was Britain’s Princess Eugenie, the royal for whom the Canadian was named.
Kvitova, her right thigh heavily wrapped as it was through the two-week tournament, quickly took charge of the match. She handcuffed Bouchard’s attacking game with a strong offence of her own, putting the Canadian under pressure on every service game with break point.
Bouchard was broken in the third and seventh games to fall to a 5-2 deficit. She showed her own form by breaking back for 3-5 after Kvitova netted after chasing Bouchard’s cross-court shot.
Kvitova wrapped up the set in less than 30 minutes on a third set point.
Kvitova picked up where she left off to start the second set with a break of Bouchard for 2-0. With the experienced Czech keeping up a lethally rapid pace, there was little time for Bouchard to react.
Bouchard missed on a return at her feet to trail 4-0 as Kvitova took a stranglehold on the match. The Czech dished out a love game for 5-0 and finished off the title performance on her first match point with a deeply angled backhand cross-court winner after 55 minutes on court.
It has been a strong tournament for other Canadians as well.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., made it to the men’s singles semifinal before losing to seven-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland in straight sets. The last Canadian to reach a men’s final four at a major was Robert Powell at Wimbledon in 1908, according to Tennis Canada.
Montreal native Greg Rusedski reached the U.S. Open final in 1997 but he was representing Great Britain at that time.
Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil and American Jack Sock will play Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States in the men’s doubles final Saturday and defending mixed doubles champions Daniel Nestor of Toronto and French partner Kristina Mladenovic will play a semifinal match against Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan.
Bouchard has done well at the All England Club in the past. She won the Wimbledon girls’ title in 2012, becoming the first Canadian to win a junior Grand Slam in singles.
“I love coming back to Wimbledon, so thank you, guys,” said Bouchard, to a loud round of applause from the fans in attendance Saturday.
Last year at Wimbledon, Bouchard won her second-round match against former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in straight sets before she was eliminated in the third round by Carla Suarez Navarro.
Kvitova defeated Bouchard in straight sets in their lone previous meeting last year at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
© The Canadian Press, 2014