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Tennis: Hotshot Bouchard ready for her big moment

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Teen hotshot Eugenie Bouchard might be only 19 but she's supremely confident and she was not surprised to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open at her first attempt Tuesday.

The Canadian, who upset former world number one Ana Ivanovic, first picked up a tennis racquet when she was five and has been working towards her big moment ever since.

"It's something I've been doing since I was five years old and working my whole life for and sacrificing a lot of things for," she said, after beating the Serb 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 to set up a semi-final with fourth seed Li Na.

"So it's not exactly a surprise. I always expect myself to do well.

"I'm just happy to have gone through this step. I'm not done. I have a match on Thursday. I'm just looking forward to that."

Bouchard, who won the 2012 girls' title at Wimbledon, was voted the WTA's newcomer of the year in 2013 after making a final at Osaka and two semi-finals at Strasbourg and Quebec in a breakthrough season.

She has played quality players on big courts before, notably Maria Sharapova at the French Open second round last year and Ivanovic at Wimbledon.

But victory over the Serb at Melbourne Park was by far her biggest achievement so far.

"I think the matches I had last year on the big courts, like the centre courts, like Sharapova at the French Open, Ivanovic at Wimbledon, just being on those big stages gave me a lot of experience," she said.

"Now walking out on centre court in Australia, I feel like I've been here before. I've been able to perform on big stages as well. It gives me that extra confidence."

While showing composure and an all-court game, the blonde-haired Bouchard, who loves in Montreal, also has the looks that will help pull in sponsors.

She comes from a monarchist family and is named after the daughter of British royal Prince Andrew. Her twin sister is Beatrice, after the prince's other daughter, while her brother is named William.

She said she was ready for the extra press and public attention that making a Grand Slam semi-final will bring.

"I'll just try to take it in stride," she said.

"Like I said earlier, it's not a huge surprise to me because I always believe in my skills and things like that. It's something I've been working a long time for.

"It's not really sudden or anything like that. I just want to keep going. If there's more attention, well, that's a good thing."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140121/tennis-hotshot-bouchard-ready-her-big-moment