By Chris Oddo, Saturday, October 12, 2013
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard reached her first career final in Osaka, while Madison Keys fell to Sam Stosur.
Photo Credit: AP
19-year-old Eugenie Bouchard reached her first career final with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Japan's Kurumi Nara at the HP Open. Bouchard, currently 111 places higher in the WTA's rankings than where she started the season, had fallen short in two semifinals this year, losing to Alize Cornet in Strasbourg and Lucie Safarova in Quebec City.
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On Saturday in Osaka, she was the more experienced player, as Nara, a 21-year-old who was born in Osaka, was contesting her first career WTA semifinal.
Bouchard saved four of five break points on the day, including both that she faced in the final set, while breaking twice in the first set and three times in the second.
From 2-all in the first set, Bouchard reeled off seven games on the trot to lead 6-2, 3-0, and she never looked back.
"I'm really excited - this is what I play for, this is what I work hard for," Bouchard said after the match.
Waiting for Bouchard in the final will be 29-year-old Australian Sam Stosur, who will be contesting her 17th career final. The Gold Coaster owns a 4-12 career record in finals, and has one title on the year.
Stosur made short work of rising American Madison Keys in the semifinals. Keys, who was contesting her first career semifinal, could not find a way into Stosur's service games. She couldn't convert on a 0-40 opportunity that she had at 3-1 of the first set, and after that she did not see another break point as Stosur ran away with the match, closing the 6-1, 6-2 decision in just over an hour.
Stosur lost only 12 points on serve all day.
Stosur and Bouchard do have a limited history, albeit abbreviated. Stosur was forced to retire with an injury while trailing Bouchard 6-1, 2-0 in Charleston earlier this year.