NEWS

Eugenie Bouchard Loses Australian Open 2014 Semifinal Match

01/22/2014 08:24 EST | Updated 03/24/2014 05:59 EDT
AP
MELBOURNE, Australia - Montreal's Eugenie Bouchard is out of the Australian Open.

China's Li Na defeated Bouchard 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday in the semifinal of the women's singles tournament.

The 19-year-old Bouchard is the first Canadian woman to reach the final four of a Grand Slam tournament in 30 years.

No. 4-seeded Li, the 2011 French Open champion, is the only major winner and the highest-ranked player still in contention after the fourth-round upsets of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Defending champion Victoria Azarenka's lost in the quarter-final to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

No. 5-seeded Radwanska was playing Dominika Cibulkova in the second semifinal later Thursday.

Li, who lost last year's final to Azarenka, was aggressive from the start against Bouchard, who started nervously and didn't win a point in her first three service games.

Fittingly, she finished off the match with a backhand crosscourt, one of 16 backhand winners in the match and her biggest weapon against Bouchard.

Earlier in the day, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic were beaten by American Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen of South Africa 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinal of the men's doubles tournament.

The defeat leaves the 41-year-old Nestor to concentrate on the mixed-doubles event after winning 12 straight matches and winning Australian titles in Brisbane and Sydney with two different partners.

"This was a little bit of a let down, but all credit to them," said Nestor. "They came out firing an showed why they were in the semifinals. They were going for their shots and making them.

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Eugenie Bouchard Australian Open 2014

"They played really well, very aggressive. We started slow and that probably gave them confidence."

The match lasted just 64 minutes, with Zimonjic losing serve twice in the opening set.

Nestor, holder of a record 83 career doubles titles, was unable to carry the entire load as he and Zimonjic re-united this season after a few seasons with other partners.

Butorac and Klaasen are an unseeded team which had knocked out Australian Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt plus the world No. 1 Bryan brothers from the United States.

"We didn't assert ourselves and that's what the top teams should do," said Nestor. "On paper we were the best team remaining in the semifinals.

"This was a chance lost to possibly win a Grand Slam — and who knows when we might get that chance again."

Nestor won his only Australian men's trophy in 1998 with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, the first of his four finals at the event.

Nestor and Zimonjic finished with 19 winners but never earned a break point and were broken three times.