Canada’s Bouchard bounced from Rogers Cup in first round

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

TORONTO — Donna Vekic of Croatia downed Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-4 in first-round play at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Vekic, ranked 51st in the world, will face third-seed Angelique Kerber in the second round.

Playing in her main draw debut at the Rogers Cup, Vekic broke the 70th-ranked Bouchard six times and won 17-of-27 first-serve points at Aviva Centre.

Bouchard started the match on the wrong foot, getting broken in the first game after a lengthy back-and-forth. Vekic held serve then broke Bouchard again for a 3-0 lead.

Bouchard was 2 for 3 on break points during the first set but Vekic broke the Canadian four times, including the deciding game — a 10-minute long affair that saw the opponents hit deuce six times.

Bouchard fired two aces but double faulted five times to Vekic’s three in the first set. She had 19 unforced errors to Vekic’s 10.

The second set started better for Bouchard, who broke Vekic for a 2-1 lead, but she lost her next serve and responded by bouncing her racket off the ground in frustration. Each held serve over the next five games before Bouchard hit the net down 40-30 to give Vekic the match at 6-4.

Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., remains Canada’s top women’s singles player despite dwindling down from a career-high No. 5 ranking in 2014 to her current No. 70.

The 23-year-old Bouchard, who made a name for herself when she reached the Wimbledon final in 2014 after two straight Grand Slam semifinal appearances, has failed to make it past the second round in six straight tournaments. She was a wild-card entry this week.

Vekic won her spot in the main draw via a two-round qualifying tournament over the weekend. Bouchard won their only previous match against each other, a three-set victory in Shenzen last year.

Bouchard’s best showing at a Rogers Cup came last year in Montreal, where she lost to Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova in the third round.

She was scheduled to play her first-round doubles match with World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova later Tuesday against Dominika Cibulkova and Kirsten Flipkens.

Earlier Tuesday, 18-year-old American Catherine Bellis rallied from down a set to defeat Julia Goerges of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, and move on to face eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round.

Bellis recovered from six double faults to break Goerges five times. Goerges had six aces but managed to convert on just 3 of 9 break point opportunities.

In other first-round play Tuesday, Oceane Dodin of France had to retire in the first set, giving Australia’s Ashleigh Barty a 5-0 victory. And Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova downed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 7-5, 6-0.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., made her Rogers Cup debut in Tuesday’s night draw against Hungary’s Timea Babos. She’s the last remaining Canadian in the women’s draw after Montreal’s Francoise Abanda was dropped in straight sets by Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic on Monday night.

1 London

London News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search



Leave a Reply