Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard reached her first semi-final of the season after defeating Caty McNally at the Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she will play Elisabetta Cocciaretto, while Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo make up the final four.
The last couple days have been a whirlwind. I’ve had matches every single day, so I haven’t even had time to think about it. I’m just so grateful I could stay here for another day. Eugenie Bouchard
Also a former World No 5, the Canadian, who received a wild card to play in the main draw, ousted Davis, an American qualifier, 6-4 6-3 in their quarter-final encounter.
Bouchard finished with 30 winners for the match, 6 times as many as McNally’s 5 to reach her first semi-final since reaching the penultimate round of the 2020 TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul in September.
“The last couple days have been a whirlwind,” Bouchard, currently ranked 144 in the world, said in her on-court post-match interview. “I’ve had matches every single day, so I haven’t even had time to think about it.
“I’m just so grateful I could stay here for another day.”
19-year-old McNally found sterling passing winners to open up a 3-1 lead, but Bouchard rebounded with aggressive play to get level at 3-3.
At 5-4 up, the Canadian powered 2 consecutive error-forcing returns to close out a service break and take the opening set.
A run of 4 straight service breaks in the second was halted by Bouchard when she served out the match at 5-3, completing the 83-minute match with 23 winners to just 5 from McNally.
Bouchard is now one win away from her 8th career WTA singles final but, to get there, she will need to take out another rising qualifier in Cocciaretto.
The Italian extended her good form by beating another American, Lauren Davis, 6-3 6-0, in an hour and 11 minutes in their quarter-final match.
Cocciaretto, who upset No 1 seed Nadia Podoroska to reach the quarters, is now into the first WTA semi-final of her career after after being pushed to 3 sets in her first qualifying match, but has not dropped another set since.
In her on-court interview after her win, the 20-year-old said, “Yes, it’s unexpected, because I started from qualies,
“I played a lot of great matches with great players. I’m happy about that — not about the win, but about playing with great players like them!”
Cocciaretto converted 5 of her 6 break points en route to her win over former Top 30 player Davis, who was undone by 25 unforced errors, including 10 double-faults.
Both Cocciaretto and Bouchard are showing excellent show this week so their semi-final should prove entertaining.
Unlike the Bouchard-Cocciaretto semi-final, which features two unseeded players, the other semi will go according to seeding, as No 2 seed Marie Bouzkova from the Czech Republic and No 4 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain booked their assigned places.
Bouzkova notched her 10th main-draw win of the season with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, improving her head-to-head record over the Slovakian to 2-0 with the 77-minute win.
After 2 routine service games, Schmiedlova was broken to love, giving the Czech a 3-2 lead in the opener, which was all 2nd seed needed as she cruised through the remainder of the set.
Bouzkova only faced a single break point in the entire match as she eased through the second set to complete the affair and set up a clash with Sorribes Tormo.
The Spaniard also recorded a straight-set win on Thursday, defeating qualifier Astra Sharma from Australia, 6-3 6-3, in 83 minutes.
“I knew I lost the last nine quarter-finals I played, so I really wanted to make the semi-finals!” Sorribes Tormo exclaimed after the match.
She has now improved her career win-loss record in WTA quarter-finals to 3-10.
Sorribes Tormo struck one fewer winners than Sharma, but the Australian coughed up 32 unforced errors, well out-pacing the Spaniard’s 14, who broke serve 4 times to romp to victory.