The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MELISSA COUTO

TORONTO — Donna Ve­kic of Croa­tia downed Cana­dian Eu­ge­nie Bouchard, 6-3, 6-4, in first-round play at the Rogers Cup ten­nis tour­na­ment 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 her 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 10minute 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.

Bouchard, of West­mount, Que., re­mains Canada’s top women’s sin­gles player, de­spite fall­ing from a ca­reer-high No. 5 rank­ing in 2014 to her cur­rent No. 70. She played her first-round dou­bles match with World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova later Tues­day against Do­minika Cibulkova and Kirsten Flip­kens.

Eu­ge­nie Bouchard

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