The Olympic Games may be just over two years away in Rio de Janeiro, but there is no question this is a golden era in the history of Canadian tennis. On Thursday, according to ESPN, Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal, Quebec, the 13th ranked tennis player in the world, defeated 2014 French Open finalist and third ranked Simona Halep of Romania 7-5, 6-2 in the semi-finals of Wimbledon to become the first Canadian ever to advance to the final of a grand slam tennis tournament.
Bouchard will now play Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who won Wimbledon before in 2011. Kvitova, the sixth seed, defeated fellow Czech Republic player Lucie Safarova, the 23rd seed, 7-6, 6-1 in the other semi-final on Thursday.
By just making it to the semi-final, Bouchard's world ranking was to rise from 13th to eighth in the world. Do not be surprised if Bouchard's ranking rises after her win over Halep on Friday and even more if she beats Kvitova on Saturday (7 a.m.. TSN).
In a golden year for Canada that saw Canadians come away with 10 gold medals at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Bouchard should still be the favourite to defend her title as the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award winner as the Canadian female athlete of the year and also be the favourite at the present time to win the Lou Marsh Award as the Canadian athlete of the year.
Bouchard is having the finest year among all Canadian singles tennis players in the history of the sport. She has already advanced to the semi-finals of the Australian Open and French Open in 2013.
Prior to 2014, only three Canadian tennis players had qualified for the semifinals of a grand slam tennis tournament. According to TSN in 1908, Robert Powell of Victoria, British Columbia, lost to Arthur Gore of Great Britain 10-8, 6-4, 6-2 in the Wimbledon semi-finals. In 1923, Williams Johnston advanced to the semi-finals of the U.S. Open and in 1984, Carling Bassett-Seguso of Toronto advanced to the semi-finals of the U.S. Open before losing to American Chris Evert 6-2, 6-2.
On Friday, Canadian tennis fans will be watching Milos Raonic closely as he will try to join Bouchard in making history. Raonic, the eighth seed in the men's draw, is in the semi-finals where he will play seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer of Switzerland. Federer is 4-0 all-time against Raonic however.