Bouchard thrilled to meet childhood hero Sharapova

FORMER Wimbledon junior champion Eugenie Bouchard has revealed she regards a childhood photo with tomorrow’s French Open semi-final opponent Maria Sharapova as one her proudest possessions, as she prepares to take on her idol.

The 20-year-old became the first Canadian woman to reach the last-four at Roland Garros with a 7-6, 2-6, 7-5 victory over 14th seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Sharapova, meanwhile, battled back from losing the first set to conquer Spain’s Garbine Muguruza – who beat world No1 Serena Williams in round two – 1-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Bouchard said: “I have a picture with her [Sharapova] from when I was seven or eight-years old.

“As a child I looked up to her and I remember watching her in the finals of Wimbledon and thought what she was doing was so cool and I wanted to do the same thing. I’m really excited to be playing Sharapova in a big match here.”

Novak Djokovic stayed on course to win a career grand slam with a quarter-final win against No8 seed Milos Raonic.

The French Open remains the only major title to elude the Serb, who brushed aside Raonic 7-5, 7-6, 6-4 to reach his sixth semi-final at Roland Garros and will return to the top of the world rankings unless “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal is crowned champion for a record ninth time on Sunday.

Djokovic will meet Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis in the semi-final following the No18 seed’s comprehensive straight sets victory over world No6 Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

And the 28-year-old believes he will reach the final. Djokovic said: “He’s confident, but I like my chances because I’ve had a couple of great weeks on clay courts.”

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Men’s singles
Rafael Nadal/David Ferrer v Gael Monfils/Andy Murray
Ernests Gulbis v Novak Djokovic

Women’s singles
Maria Sharapova v Eugenie Bouchard
Sara Errani/Andrea Petkovic v Svetlana Kuznetsova/Simona Halep