Home court no help as Bouchard falls in Toronto

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Home sup­port proved no help as Eu­ge­nie Bouchard’s strug­gles con­tin­ued Tues­day with a straight-sets loss to qual­i­fier Donna Ve­kic at the WTA hard­court tour­na­ment in Toronto. Croa­tia’s Ve­kic pow­ered to a 6-3, 6-4 vic­tory, to the dis­ap­point­ment of a par­ti­san crowd whose vo­cal sup­port couldn’t lift Bouchard.

The Cana­dian, who has just one match win since a sec­ond-round exit at the French Open, com­mit­ted 32 un­forced er­rors and seven dou­ble faults. She was bro­ken six times by the 21-yearold Ve­kic, who is in the main draw of this US Open tuneup for the first time.

“I guess I am go­ing to have to have a tour­na­ment in Croa­tia to fi­nally have the home crowd,” said Ve­kic, who booked a sec­ond-round clash with Ger­man third seed An­gelique Ker­ber-who held the world num­ber one rank­ing ear­lier this year. Bouchard, touted as a ris­ing star when she reached the 2014 Wim­ble­don fi­nal on the heels of semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ances at the Aus­tralian and French Opens, was once ranked as high as fifth in the world.

She’s now 70th and re­ceived a wild­card en­try into the main draw, but her Toronto cam­paign lasted just 94 min­utes. “I’m ob­vi­ously a bit low in con­fi­dence right now,” Bouchard said. “So it’s tough to get through tough matches when you’re in a mo­ment like that.”

In sec­ond-round ac­tion, for­mer world num­ber one Caro­line Woz­ni­acki of Den­mark, seeded sixth, pow­ered through with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Rus­sian Eka­te­rina Alexan­drova. Fifth-seeded Elina Svi­tolina of Ukraine also ad­vanced with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 win over Rus­sian Daria Kasatk­ina.

In other first-round matches, 10thseeded Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska of Poland con­tin­ued her dom­i­nance of big-serv­ing Amer­i­can CoCo Van­deweghe with a 6-3, 6-2 win. Rad­wan­ska, win­ner of the Cana­dian crown in 2014 when the tour­na­ment was held in Mon­treal, has won five straight hard­court meet­ings against Van­deweghe — who man­aged to turn the ta­bles in a grass court clash at Birm­ing­ham last year.

It was a dis­ap­point­ing early exit for Van­deweghe, who reached the fi­nal at Stan­ford last week to move into the top 20 in the world rank­ings. Rus­sia’s Anas­ta­sia Pav­lyuchenkova swept past France’s Al­ize Cor­net 6-0, 6-1 to book a sec­ond-round meet­ing with newly minted world num­ber one and top seed Karolina Pliskova.

Mag­dalena Ry­barikova of Slo­vakia downed Croa­t­ian Mir­jana Lu­cic-Ba­roni 75, 6-0 to line up a meet­ing with sec­ond­seeded de­fend­ing cham­pion Si­mona Halep, who won the Cana­dian ti­tle in Mon­treal last year. — AFP

TORONTO: Eu­ge­nie Bouchard, of Canada, re­acts dur­ing a first round match against Donna Ve­kic, of Croa­tia, at the Rogers Cup women’s ten­nis tour­na­ment in Toronto, Tues­day. — AP

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