A highly intriguing first-time encounter between Canadian No. 1 Eugenie Bouchard and former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is scheduled to take place in the quarter-final round of the Portugal Open.
Although her clay court season began in Charleston, where she defeated bot Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic en route to the semi-final round, Eugenie Bouchard’s European clay court season began on Tuesday afternoon, when she defeated Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 6-1, and then followed up with another straight sets victory, this time over WTA big-hitter Yaroslava Shvedova. Bouchard struggled to find her rhythm at times during the match, but managed to secure all the crucial points and breaks to earn the 6-4, 6-2 win.
“It was difficult to get a lot of rhythm because she can hit some really big balls,” Bouchard said. “She was controlling quite a lot of the points today, which I wasn’t too happy with, although I still feel like my game is in a good place and I’m just going to try and keep getting better.
“It was tight at the end of the first set, so I just tried to stay positive and luckily got through. I think every day you get a little bit more used to the clay. It’s still an adjustment period and the goal is just to get better with every match.”
World No. 29 Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated María-Teresa Torró-Flor to reach the quarter-final round in Oeiras. The former Roland Garros champion earned the 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory and will now set up an intriguing first-time encounter against the young Canadian.
Kuznetsova is coming off an impressive start to her 2014 clay court season, as she defeated second seed Simona Halep last week in Stuttgart before succumbing to eventual runner-up Ana Ivanovic the following round. She is more than capable of producing another upset on Thursday afternoon, and will likely use her experience to find a way around the big-hitting Canadian.
Prediction: Svetlana Kuznetsova in Three Sets