Former world No. 1 Venus Williams and rising star Eugenie Bouchard are scheduled to meet in the third round of the Family Circle Cup on Thursday afternoon. This will be just the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 1-0 with a victory in Tokyo last season.
It was another gruelling battle on Wednesday for world No. 28 Venus Williams, who needed an hour and 50 minutes to advance at the Family Circle Cup with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers. Williams fell behind 3-1 in the first set and trailed 4-1 in the second.
“I’m still dealing with the bug, but my goal is just to hang in there until it hopefully goes away and then I can just continue to play my way into the tournament and play stronger,” Williams said after the win. “But it’s definitely a challenge.”
Williams began her season by reaching the finals in Auckland. She would take it one step further in Dubai, where she would win her third title at the event, extending her undefeated streak to 15-0. She is coming off a fourth round exit in Miami, where she lost to eventual semi-finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
World No. 19 Eugenie Bouchard has had a poor post-Australian Open run, during which she’s won just four tour-level matches. She began her week with a strong 6-2, 6-0 victory over Alla Kudryavtseva on Tuesday. She will now set her sights on the former world No. 1, whom she has previously faced on the professional tour.
“I felt like I was close,” Bouchard said, recalling the match. “I was right with her, and it was a good match for me to play such a champion. But now I feel like I belong more and things like that, so I feel more ready on the court.”
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the series 1-0 with a victory in Tokyo. It was a competitive quarterfinal, which Williams won 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3. This will likely be another three set battle, with Bouchard looking to get her revenge and level the series.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard in Three Sets