Another day, another statement win for Montreal’s Genie Bouchard at the Family Circle Cup

As the third set wore on and the game clock approached two hours, Montreal's Genie Bouchard did well to remember the advice coach Nick Saviano was giving her during an on-court consultation.

"Whatever you feel, you have enough to go three more sets, full speed. Show no weakness, no fatigue," Saviano said. "Remember, this gal is a good player. There's no guarantee you will win. Only guarantee you play each point the best you can."

Saviano could see his charge during changeovers, holding an ice towel to her head and looking exhausted and more than a little overheated in the South Carolina heat, wind and humidity. But despite the conditions, Bouchard pulled off her second consecutive win over a former No. 1 player at the Family Circle Cup Friday, defeating No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to move into the semifinals.

She'll face No. 14 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany Saturday.

A year ago at this tournament, ranked outside the top 50, Bouchard got through the qualifying and to the quarterfinals, where she also met Jankovic. Out of gas, she won just three games.

"I didn't want it to be like Groundhog day again, quarters in Charleston and lose to the same player. But when you're on the court you can't think about past matches," Bouchard said. (You can see an extended interview here).

"I feel like my game is at a different level, and mentally I feel I'm much stronger. It was just about putting the pieces together and I think at the end of the day, I feel like I did a good job of that," she said. "Deep in the third set, I have this confidence that I can still play well, can still raise my game," she added. "In both matches (against Jankovic Friday and Venus Williams Thursday), I think I raised my game in the third set. And that's when it counts."

Bouchard served much better than she did against Williams. The second-set loss was

partly her taking her foot off the gas, and partly Jankovic getting this steely-eyed, determined look on her face, at which point she just stopped making errors.

Bouchard's level had been so ridiculously high after being down an early break to start the match. By the time she held her serve at love to take the first set, she had won 12 of the last 13 points. It was an impossible level to keep up against such an accomplished opponent. And Jankovic was patient in waiting for the level to drop.

But Bouchard rallied in the third set, and put her foot down on the pedal in the final game. The squeal of delight she emitted when it was over could be heard all the way back home in Westmount, Que.

Jankovic said afterwards that she had felt a little flat, and just didn't have enough at the end to close it out. The Serb also played doubles with Petkovic in Charleston this week, and they had a dramatic, topsy-turvy late doubles match Thursday night, which they lost 16-14 in the match tiebreaker.

Overall, the kiddie brigade has done some damage in this tournament. The other

semi-final will feature 20-year-old Jana Cepelova, who upset Serena Williams in the second round (with a lot of help from an exhausted Serena). She did the same to her veteran Slovak countrywoman, Daniela Hantuchova, in a 6-2, 6-1 victory Friday.

Cepelova will play 17-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, a canny player with court craft far beyond her years, which obviously brings facile – through erroneous – comparisons to illustrious fellow Swiss Martina Hingis. Long touted as a future star, Bencic didn't only defeat No. 3 seed Sara Errani of Italy Friday, she thoroughly dispirited her in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory. Errani played most of the last two games in tears after going down 0-5 in the third set.

So there will be a new, unexpected champion at the Family Circle Cup this year. But it's far too soon to look at this tournament as the one that marks a definitive changing of the guard.

Williams was a shadow of her usual self, saying after her defeat that she badly needed a break from tennis after an action-packed two years. Victoria Azarenka is injured. Maria Sharapova was vacationing in Cancun. Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska also weren't in the draw. Neither were Angelique Kerber of Germany nor the WTA's latest breakthrough player, Simona Halep of Romania. Or Dominika Cibulkova, arguably the hottest player on Tour this season after Li Na.

So rather than being a changing of the guard, let's call it a terrific opportunity – for someone. Perhaps even for Petkovic, a 26-year-old who made the top 10 in October, 2011 (she's currently at No. 40) but who has since suffered a lower back injury, a bad ankle injury requiring surgery after an on-court spill and then a knee injury, and hasn't yet found her confidence since her return.