Sports

Go, Canada: Genie Bouchard, Milos Raonic advance to Wimbledon semifinals

Milos Raonic (left) and Eugenie Bouchard are both winning at Wimbledon, and have both reached the semifinals at England
Milos Raonic (left) and Eugenie Bouchard are both winning at Wimbledon, and have both reached the semifinals at England's Slam.
— image credit: The Canadian Press

Milos Raonic is the first Canadian male to advance to Wimbledon's semifinals since Robert Powell in 1908.

Eugenie Bouchard has now reached their third straight Grand Slam semifinal – her third in just three outings this year.

In all, it's the greatest result Canada has ever had at the All-England Club, and it's not over yet.

"I'm excited to be in the semis," Bouchard said after beating Germany's Angelique Kerber in straight sets on Wednesday, in the Wimbledon quarters.

Regardless of her result from this point on, Bouchard will move into the world top 10 after Wimbledon.

"But, of course, I'm never satisfied, so I definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can," she said.

Bouchard will now face Simona Halep, who's coming off a second-place finish at the 2014 French Open and a straight-sets win over Sabine Lisicki, also on Wednesday.

"I'm excited to be in the semifinals against (her) but I want to go further for sure," said Bouchard. "I'm looking forward to try to play a little bit like I played today. I thought I was pretty solid out there and playing the right way on the grass. So that's going to be a key."

Bouchard's growing fan base has received considerable media attention over the past seven or eight months, what with the Genie Army's founding in Australia in January and with her collection of stuffed animals to prove it.

But her entourage has also gained an ally in The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, who has been at Wimbledon watching Genie climb the bracket with Bouchard's coach and family.

"There's something abut Genie, it's combination of a confidence and an evenness," Parsons told TSN's Mark Masters on Wednesday. "There's just this great equilibrium about her play. There's no dramatic ebbs and flows of her emotions through a match.

"To me, it's like watching a champion play. I know that she hasn't won a Slam yet, but there's something... you don't feel right saying future champion, she plays like she's a winner now. It's very appealing, it's very addictive to watch, and it's very inspirational, you know?

"It's qualities that I would like to carry over to my own career."

Raonic, meanwhile, has one massive hurdle left before he can reach a height no other Canadian male ever has.

The Thornhill, Ontario native will face Roger Federer – the ho-hum owner of the most male Grand Slam titles in tennis history – in the Wimbledon semifinals, after Raonic defeated Australian Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

The 19-year-old Kyrgios, ranked 144th in the world, came into his match against Raonic fresh off a staggering upset over No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal.

Raonic is the first Canadian male to reach the semifinal of any Grand Slam tournament since William Johnston at the 1923 US Open.

The only Canadian male to ever win a Grand Slam singles title of any rank was current 20-year-old junior player Filip Peliwo, who won the 2012 Wimbledon boys' tournament.

Peliwo – who's from North Vancouver, B.C. – also won the 2012 junior US Open.

Bouchard was the first-ever Canadian to win a junior Grand Slam title, taking the 2012 Wimbledon girls' title two days before Peliwo won his.

Files from the Canadian Press.

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