Bouchard leading Canadian charge


Apparently, the heat wave that turned Melbourne's tennis courts into a sauna is still going strong in Melbourne.

At least it is for Ana Ivanovic, who was catching fire like Jennifer Lawrence. The Serb stunned Serena Williams in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday, and though you likely didn't miss that match, here are five things that may have slipped past you on Day 7 Down Under.

1. The real deal

The curse of Patricia Hy-Boulais is now over. For the first time in 22 years, a Canadian woman has reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. That honor belongs to Eugenie Bouchard, who beat the hometown favorite Casey Dellacqua 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0. Hy-Boulais, as you might recall, made the final eight of the 1992 US Open.

The 19-year-old Bouchard needed exactly 103 minutes to finally suppress Dellacqua. After a tight start to the match, Bouchard steamrolled the Aussie.

"Yeah, I felt the first set, it was a bit shaky," Bouchard told reporters after the match. "I feel like I still served well in the first. I made a few too many unforced errors, wasn't being aggressive enough. Then in the second and third, I really just, you know, stepped in more and really controlled the points. And that worked really well."

Indeed it did. Bouchard, who was ranked No. 144 at the beginning of last year, is one of the sport's up-and-coming stars. And for all the precocious players who have made guest appearances in the later stages of Slams, she, along with Sloane Stephens, look like the ones whose success is more than a hasty stopover. Stephens, 20, could join Bouchard in the quarterfinals with a win over Victoria Azarenka on Sunday night (U.S. time).

The Canadian rising star is seven years younger than any of the three other quarterfinalists in her half of the draw. She could see her ranking climb to as high as No. 21 now that she's reached the quarterfinals.

Bouchard and Milos Raonic have sprung Canada into the tennis spotlight in the past few years. But Bouchard, with her long blond locks, engaging personality, killer smile and, not to be outdone, stout game, might soon resonate beyond the Canadian borders.

Bouchard is, after all, just three wins from a Grand Slam title. Is she surprised?

"I wouldn't say so, no," she said. "I always expect a lot from myself. Every match I go on the court believing I can win."

And next up for Bouchard is Ivanovic, who, outside the heat, made the biggest headlines of the tournament by knocking off the top-seeded Williams.

"I saw a little bit of the match, so [Ivanovic] was definitely playing really well," Bouchard said. "I'm going to look forward to a really tough battle. We're in the quarters now, so she deserves to be there. No one's going to give it to me, so it's going to be a good match."

2. Serbian tennis en fuego

Your head might be a little stuffy from watching Ivanovic single-handedly decimate everything we thought was going to happen in the women's draw. Thus we'll forgive you for missing her compatriot Novak Djokovic bury the fabulous  Fabio Fognini, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.

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