Eugenie Bouchard advances to Istanbul final
Canadian aiming for 2nd-career WTA title
Canadian qualifier Eugenie Bouchard has advanced to the final of the Istanbul Tennis Championship.
Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., beat world No. 94 Paula Badosa of Spain 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals of the WTA Tour clay-court event on Saturday and will face Patricia Maria Tig in Sunday's decider.
Bouchard will go for her second title after winning in Nuremberg in 2014. Tig, the highest ranked player in the last four at 88th, defeated Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3 in the second semifinal.
"I am specifically proud with how I handled myself every day because I've had to play a match every day," Bouchard said.
"Tomorrow's going to be my seventh day in a row so it's kind of playing the same number of matches to get to the final of a Slam. It's like playing a Grand Slam but in half the amount of time."
WATCH | Eugenie Bouchard tops Paula Badosa in Istanbul semis:
The 26-year-old Canadian, ranked 272nd in the world, saved six of seven break points.
Bouchard, who won two matches to get into the main draw, will play No. 88 Patricia Maria Tig of Romania after she defeated No. 136 Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic in the other semifinal.
It will be Bouchard's first final since 2016. Her only career tournament title came in Nuremberg, Germany in 2014.
A former world No. 5 after reaching the final of Wimbledon in 2014, Bouchard's ranking has tumbled in recent years.
Ranking on the rise
Bouchard's ranking is projected to rise to No. 163 if she loses the final. If she wins, she'll crack the top 150.
Because of her ranking, Bouchard has no idea what's next on her schedule. The U.S. Open didn't have qualifying this year because of COVID-19, preventing lower-ranked players from having a shot to get into the main draw.
"I want to play as much as possible," she said. "Anywhere I can get in with my ranking or with a wild card is where I'm going to go play. Things are a little more last-minute these days with this kind of abbreviated schedule."
This is Bouchard's third run to at least the quarter-finals this year. She reached the quarter-finals in her first tournament back from the COVID-19 suspension last month before losing in three sets to world No. 18 Elise Mertens in Prague.