The 62nd ranked 19 year old Canadian qualifier, Eugenie Bouchard, faced off against the might of Serena Williams on Wednesday afternoon at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Never having met before and Serena on a mission, on paper this match looked to be easy for Serena but, as all tennis fans know, there is no such thing as an easy match. Bouchard went 2-0 up before Serena got on the scoreboard – and kept that lead until at 5-4 confidently served out the set at 6-4. In the second set Serena got an early break and went on to take the set 6-2. In the decider Serena raced to 4-0 and 5-2 leads with better service and break point stats. Bouchard got to 40-0 on her serve, but Serena dug deep and broke a final time for the set at 6-2.
The first seed to fall in the second round on Wednesday was number 16, Maria Kirilenko. 32nd ranked Mona Barthel took the first set 6-4 and ran up a 4-0 lead in the second set before the Russian broke to take a game. Trailing 2-5, Kirilenko served to stay in the match and took the next two games before Barthel closed the set out at 6-4.
8th seed Marion Bartoli and reigning Wimbledon champion played 25th ranked Simona Halep in one of the night matches. Bartoli took the first set 6-3 but lost the next two 6-4 6-1 in a match that lasted almost an hour and three quarters. Well known for fighting to the very last point in every match and her limitless energy even when she looked down and out, the 28 year old Frenchwoman announced her immediate retirement from the professional game. “It’s time for me to retire and call it a career. I feel it’s time for me to walk away actually,” she told reporters. She will be missed by one and all.
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