It’s time for Eugenie Bouchard or Simona Halep to cash in. In 2009, Dinara Safina reached at least the semifinals in that season’s first three Majors. Two of those were finals. Dinara was 23 at Wimbledon 2009. In April of that year she was ranked #1. She never reached another Major semifinal. She never went past the fourth round ever again. Five years later, she’s retired from the sport at 28. In this moment, after Eugenie Bouchard has become the first playersince 2009 to match Safina by reaching at least the semifinals in the first three Majors of the season, it seems like the talented 20-year old Canadian will have many more chances at a Major title in her career. She’s playing like a player who intends to be around a long time. A day after holding back Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber could not stop the relentless attack of Bouchard as Genie powered through for a 6-3 6-4 victory. With the win, Bouchard assures herself of a spot in the top 10 in the new rankings. But nothing is greater than Major titles. Nobody wants to be the player who reaches semifinals and finals of Majors only to lose. That said, I do believe that even if Genie doesn’t win here, she will have more chances. I just recognize that opportunities must be seized, just in case they don’t come around again.
While Eugenie Bouchard has reached three straight Major semis, Simona Halep has reached a quarterfinal, been runner-up at Roland Garros and now reached a semifinal. Like Genie, Simona should feel like the time is now to reach the final, win the final and hold the Venus Rosewater Dish over her head. After falling behind 1-4 in the first set in her quarterfinal against last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki, Halep displayed the balanced attack, incredible movement and ability to redirect shots that has carried her to #3 in the world. Those skills might just carry her farther than that. Simona and Genie are tied for the best record in Majors this year at 15-2. One of them will be 16-2 after the semifinals. It’s time for one of them to finish this tournament 17-2, although Petra Kvitova or Lucie Safarova will have something to say about that.
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3 SIMONA HALEP (won 6-4 6-0 vs 19 Sabine Lisicki)
13 EUGENIE BOUCHARD (won 6-3 6-4 vs 9 Angelique Kerber)