Bouchard sets up Kvitova final

  • Last Updated: July 3 2014, 20:50 BST

Eugenie Bouchard and Petra Kvitova will contest the Wimbledon final after both claimed commanding victories on Thursday.

Bouchard sets up Kvitova final

Eugenie Bouchard continued her relentless march to the top of the women's game by defeating Simona Halep to reach her first grand slam final at Wimbledon.

It was a meeting of the two most improved players on the circuit but, after Halep's run to the French Open final, this time it is Bouchard who will bid for a first slam title when she takes on Petra Kvitova on Saturday.

Luck was certainly on 20-year-old Bouchard's side, with Halep turning her ankle early in the match and then seeing a net-cord go against her at a crucial stage of the tie-break.

The second set was all Bouchard and the Canadian, the only player to reach the semi-finals at every slam so far this season, clinched a 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 victory after an hour and 35 minutes.

Ice-cold Bouchard remains unsated by her meteoric rise, refusing to toast her progress at SW19.

"I'm waiting for a big moment to go nuts," she said. "Of course, achieving a lifelong dream like winning a grand slam is very exciting to me.

"But I feel my job is not done here, so there's no need for a huge celebration, because I'm still working. I still have another match.

"I felt very calm in general (against Halep). I was proud of myself, but I know I have another step."

Earlier Kvitova powered into her second Wimbledon final just two weeks after a hamstring injury cast doubt on her involvement.

The 2011 champion saw off Czech compatriot Lucie Safarova in straight sets to reach her second grand slam final.

Kvitova prevailed 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 against 27-year-old Safarova, who always looked slightly overawed in her first grand slam semi-final.

The 24-year-old Kvitova was forced to withdraw from her Eastbourne quarter-final with Britain's Heather Watson on June 19 due to hamstring problems.

She then faced a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon, and has had her thigh heavily strapped throughout the tournament.

Any ill effects are hardly showing though, with the world number six dropping just one set - against Venus Williams in the third round - en route to the final.

Kvitova said: "When I won here in 2011 I needed to change myself both on and off the court a little bit.

"I had to get used to the pressure, I won here quite young, and it was difficult for me to handle it, definitely.

"I'm glad that happened though: I would never change it for something else.

"These years in between have been really up and down, and I knew people were expecting more from me than I delivered.

"It's tough to stay with the pressure every time you step on court, being the favourite isn't easy. It takes some getting used to, definitely.

"That's something that I'm living with now, I don't think it will change - it's part of my life now, and that's it.

"Everything in my life changed after Wimbledon. I'm still working on the mental side, that's something I really need.

"When I'm still living with the pressure, that's what I really need to handle. With my sports psychologist, it's nice to talk with someone who probably knows how I'm feeling before my match.

"He'll be trying to talk to me about the next match, what I should do, what I have to prepare for.

"During the tournament it's really about keeping the focus, sometimes about visualisation, and certainly the little things."