05 Jul 2012

Sailing into the semifinals

News Article

Photo: Susan MullaneFrancoise Abanda (CAN)

In the junior competition they’re down to the semifinals in the boys’ and girls’ competition.

The most represented nation is Canada, who has three semifinalists in the hunt for the Wimbledon title. In the girls’ draw, fifth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard and 14th-seeded Francoise Abanda are waving the maple leaf, while in the boys’ Filip Peliwo remains in action.

Bouchard moved into the semifinals with a 46 60 62 win over wildcard recipient Antonia Lottner of Germany on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Bouchard has had an impressive junior Grand Slam career. She’s reached the Australian Open semifinals the past two years and the quarterfinals here last year.

Now she wants to do even better and go even further in her last year competing in the juniors. The U.S. Open will be her final junior tournament.

“I think I’m playing well now and I had a good warmup last week winning the Roehampton tournament,” Bouchard said. “I really want to keep the form going. I’ve been in two semifinals in Australia so it’s time to go a step further.”

Bouchard takes on 11th-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the semifinals. Kontaveit had an easier day than the Canadian, taking a 60 64 quarterfinal win over 16th-seeded Ana Konjuh of Croatia.

“The first set was not that hard and she missed a lot,” Kontaveit said. “We all had a tough day yesterday having to play two matches and maybe she was a little bit more tired than I was.

“I played really aggressive and attacked her second serve. In the end I played some good points on the important points.”

The 17-year-old Kontaveit, who reached the Roland Garros semifinal this year, defeated Bouchard in the round-of-16 en route to the semis in Paris. 

“She plays really well on grass and she loves it,” Kontaveit said. “Its going to be a really tough match. She attacks a lot, she has really good returns.”

Bouchard is looking forward to another shot at Kontaviet. And grass is more to her liking than clay.

“I lost to her at the French Open, so revenge,” Bouchard said. “I feel like I’m playing well. I just need to be aggressive and dictate play. I think I’ll do well.”

In the other girls’ semifinal, Abanda will take on third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Abanda won her quarterfinal over eighth-seeded Donna Vekic 63 64, while Svitolina took out the unseeded Sabina Sharipova of Uzekistan 63 62.

In boy’s action, top-seeded Luke Saville, the reigning Australian Open champion, will go up against third-seeded Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy. Saville had a 75, 54 lead when sixth-seeded Nikola Milojevic of Serbia retired in their match. Quinzi scored a 63 61 win over unseeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia.

“I feel good because this is my first semifinal at Wimbledon and I won a lot of matches with good players,” Quinzi said. “I feel confident and will see tomorrow with the number one seed. He’s good but I’m going to give 100 percent.”

Quinzi calls the grass courts “perfect” at Wimbledon and loves that the fans are enthusiastic.

Initially, Quinzi was thinking about skiing or go-carts, but at age eight he was given a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Academy. He lived their until two years ago, but nowadays goes to the academy only on occasion to practice.

The fourth-seeded Peliwo,18, who was a finalist at the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year, won his quarterfinal match 64 16 63 against unseeded Enzo Couacaud of France.

In the next match, Peliwo will face eighth-seeded Mitchell Krueger of USA. Krueger upset second-seeded and reigning French Open champion Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 62 76 (5) in the quarterfinals.