LONDON — Eugenie Bouchard would like to think fellow Canadian Justin Bieber is noticing her run to the Wimbledon final.
After Bouchard won her semifinal Thursday, the 20-year-old was asked whether she thinks pop star Bieber is aware that she's the first tennis player from Canada to reach a Grand Slam title match.
"I hope so," she said with a smile. "I'm putting in so much hard work. I want to see this hard work rewarded."
At the Australian Open in January, Bouchard was asked during an on-court interview who she'd like to go out on a date with — and she quickly gave Bieber's name. He responded by sending a tweet wishing her good luck.
And that's why Bieber, whose hits include "Baby" and "Never Say Never," was brought up by a reporter at Bouchard's news conference Thursday.
When Bouchard was teasingly asked whether Bieber has been in touch with her during Wimbledon, she said he hadn't and laughed.
"You know," Bouchard said, going along with the joke, "he's kind of been in trouble recently."
Then, she said: "I'm not associated with that at the moment. But, you know, if he cleans up his image. ..."
Bieber is scheduled to go on trial in July in Miami on charges he was driving under the influence and without a valid driver's license. He has also been charged in Toronto with assault. Last month, Bieber apologized after a years-old video surfaced showing him telling a racist joke.
Bouchard, who will face Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in Saturday's final at the All England Club, also was asked whether Bieber might be Royal Box "material" at Centre Court, where actors and singers mix with sports stars and monarchs.
"He's not?" Bouchard said, grinning. "They really wouldn't allow him in the Royal Box if he came? I feel like he would manage to get himself in there somehow."
OK, well if Bieber can't make, who would Bouchard want to see in that VIP area?
"Um, that's a tough question," she said. "I would love, like, to see Oprah there."