WUHAN, China – WTA Rising Star Eugenie Bouchard outdid Caroline Wozniacki to not only reach the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open final, but to set up a Wimbledon final rematch against Petra Kvitova where the winner will qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The No.6-seeded Bouchard put on a masterclass against the No.8-seeded Wozniacki in the night session, needing just an hour and 18 minutes to storm into the final, 6-2, 6-3. Wozniacki actually played very well – she finished the match with an even differential of winners to unforced errors (18 to 18). But Bouchard was an impressive +8 against one of the most solid players in the game (28 to 20).
Bouchard’s other secret weapon was her sharpness on the biggest points – she managed to convert on five of her nine break point chances, while Wozniacki converted just one of seven break points.
“I think I played very aggressively, and it was all about trying to maintain it,” Bouchard said. “Of course I expected some resistance, and she definitely made me fight for every point, but I was happy with the way I was serving and stepping in and the way I kind of regathered by concentration.
“I feel like I played very, very well, maybe up there with Wimbledon, maybe better.”
At the end of the day the Canadian is through to the final in Wuhan, where she will take on the No.3 seed, Petra Kvitova, who beat Elina Svitolina earlier on, 6-3, 7-5
As mentioned above, the winner of the final won’t just lift the Premier-level title – which would, incidentally, be the biggest title of Bouchard’s career – but they will become the fourth player to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore, after Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep.
Kvitova is trying to qualify for the event for the fourth straight year, all three of her previous appearances coming in Istanbul the last three years. Bouchard has never played the event before.
Kvitova has beaten Bouchard in straight sets in both of the pair’s previous meetings, most notably the Wimbledon final earlier this year, where the Czech routed the Canadian in 55 minutes, 6-3, 6-0.
“It’s going to be nice to play Genie in the final, so we can have a repeat match of the final at Wimbledon,” Kvitova said. “She’s a very good mover and plays very aggressively from the baseline – she takes the balls very early and returns very well. Those are some of the things she does great.
“My first practice here was with her, so it’s quite funny, and it’s always nice.”
“I think I didn’t impose myself enough in the Wimbledon final, and she was the one controlling the points all the time,” Bouchard said. “But she played really, really well, so there wasn’t much I could do, and that happens sometimes. I hope I can do my thing more on the court tomorrow.
“I’m going to try to take it to her as much as she’s going to take it to me.”