Eugenie Bouchard making Wimbledon tennis history

Eugenie Bouchard will try to become the first Canadian singles tennis player to advance to a Grand Slam final when she faces Romania's Simona Halep in the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Bouchard, Raonic take Canada into uncharted tennis territory

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada celebrates defeating Angelique Kerber of Germany in their women's singles quarterfinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (Ben Curtis/AP)

First there was Canada's Davis Cup semifinal appearance last fall. Next came Eugenie Bouchard's trip to the final four at the Australian Open early this year.

Now Bouchard, 20, is getting ready to play in her third straight Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon, facing off against Romanian SimonaHalep, who is just a couple of years her senior. The two will meet in the Wimbledon semifinal on Thursday with both tipped to start collecting grand slam silverware before too long.

Bouchard will be joined in the semifinals by fellow Canadian Milos Raonic. 

It's the most significant achievement yet in the country's rise as a tennis power as no two Canadians have ever advanced this far at one major.

"I'm sure that the outbreak and the response back home is of much more magnitude than anything else that's happened or that's resonated," Raonic said Wednesday after defeating Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios to advance to his first career Grand Slam semifinal.

"I think not only (Bouchard) in the last two Slams, but us doing it at the same time here is bigger than anything we've done in Davis Cup, anything we've done at Fed Cup. It has a bigger audience, a bigger meaning, a bigger recognition."

'I'm never satisfied'

Bouchard advanced to her third straight major semifinal by defeating Germany's Angelique Kerber. The result is expected to move her into eighth on the WTA rankings list Monday, equalling the Canadian-best ranking held by Carling Bassett-Seguso.

"I'm excited to be in the semis. But, of course, I'm never satisfied, so I definitely want to go a step further, or as far as I can," Bouchard said.

Raonic, a 23-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., is in uncharted territory at Wimbledon, having only reached the second round at three previous appearances at the All England Club.

Milos Raonic of Canada puts his arms aloft as he celebrates defeating Nick Kyrgios of Australia in their men's singles quarterfinal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Wednesday, July 2, 2014. (Ben Curtis/AP)

"I've always wanted to play well here, to change my luck around like this is pretty special. It's another step forward," Raonic said. "My goal is to be the best in the world and this is one of the steps you have to take toward that goal It's what I dream of — achieving on the big stage."

Bouchard and Raonic have already advanced farther than any Canadian before them at Wimbledon since the Open era started in 1968. Both have their work cut out for them in the semifinals.

Raonic has not beaten his semifinal opponent, seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, in four career matches, including a three-set Federer win at a 2012 grass-court event in Halle, Germany. Their only Grand Slam matchup was at the fourth round of the 2013 Australian Open, where Federer won in straight sets.

Bouchard has less history with her opponent, Romania'sSimonaHalep, who crushed 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.

The Romanian won their only meeting, on hardcourt at Indian Wells last March. But Halep, like Bouchard, is a rising star. She advanced to the final at the French Open before losing an entertaining match to champion Maria Sharapova.

"She's a good player and I'm ready for another tough match," Bouchard said of Halep.

"It's not every day you can walk out on Centre Court and play the semis of a slam," added Bouchard. "That's the most important thing for me, is to really enjoy it. I'm going to try, give it my best, leave everything on the court, and we'll see what happens."