Errors are Bouchard’s undoing
Pospisil pulls out with back pain after losing first set
Even Eugenie Bouchard did not expect to find herself playing a U.S. Open match Wednesday in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 23-year-old Canadian is, after all, still a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.S. Tennis Association stemming from a fall at the facility during the tournament two years ago. Hers is no longer a marquee name in the sport, attached to a losing record this season and a No. 76 ranking this week, far removed from the days when Bouchard was a Wimbledon finalist and top-10 player in 2014.
Bouchard wound up losing meekly to Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 7-6 (2), 6-1.
“I was surprised, yeah,” she said about the court assignment, “but it’s always an amazing opportunity to play on the biggest tennis court in the world.”
Against Rodina, Bouchard made 46 unforced errors, 20 more than her winners. She also was broken in five of nine service games.
“It’s one of those matches you kind of want to forget about,” Bouchard said. “I just didn’t really know what to do out there.”
Maria Sharapova’s game might be patchy, but she is as capable as ever of coming up with big strokes in big moments — and maybe could stick around for a while in a depleted draw. Sharapova became the first woman through to the third round by using 12 aces to help set aside a poor start and come back to beat Timea Babos of Hungary 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1.
Venus Williams reached the third round for a seventh Grand Slam tournament in a row after the 37-year-old beat 20-year-old Oceane Dodin of France 7-5, 6-4.
In men’s action and the upset of the day, No. 4 Alexander Zverev of Germany lost to Borna Coric of Croatia 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (4).
Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil retired from his match with Spain’s Fernando Verdasco after losing the first set 6-2.
Pospisil, who has been bothered by back pain and struggled through the opening set, met briefly with trainers during the changeover before withdrawing.
Later Wednesday, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., took on eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov made quick work of their opponents. The sixthseeded Thiem beat Australian Alex de Minaur 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 and No. 7 Dimitrov followed him with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Czech qualifier Vaclav Safranek.
No. 14 Nick Kyrgios won’t be joining them, unable to overcome shoulder pain or fellow Australian John Millman and falling 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Also advancing were No. 15 Tomas Berdych, who beat American Ryan Harrison in straight sets, No. 18 Gael Monfils, who swept past fellow Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, and another Frenchman, No. 30 Adrian Mannarino, a straight-sets winner over Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.
No. 22 Fabio Fognini and No. 26 Richard Gasquet were upset.
Fourth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, whose match was stopped Tuesday as she faced a second-set tiebreaker, lost that when she returned before beating Katerina Siniakova 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-3. No. 14 Kristina Mladenovic of France was upset, falling 6-3, 6-2 to Romania’s Monica Niculescu.