While it was far from smooth-sailings, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard is through to the third round of the Wuhan Open, where she will now meet Alison Riske for the second time on the professional tour. Bouchard leads the head to head series 1-0 but has not met the American in over three years.
Bouchard needed to rally back from a set down to defeat Germany’s Mona Barthel 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. While she was tense during the start of the match, the Canadian decreased her error count and cleaned up her game to edge herself closer to the title.
“I made a few too many unforced errors in the first set, and she likes to hit the ball hard, so it was hard to get a rhythm,” Bouchard said. “But I took a step back on the first serve return, was able to get a few more returns in, and started serving a bit better in the second and third sets, so I think those two things helped me out a lot.
“I really like the surface of the courts here. From my first practice, I loved the feel of the courts. Of course it is a bit humid here in Wuhan, but I am well hydrated and feel great physically on the court. So that’s a positive.”
Alison Riske defeated Italian No. 1 Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour and 34 minutes. The American hit 2 aces, 66% of her first serves and converted 4 of 9 break point opportunities.
This marks the second time they meet on the professional tour. They did meet twice prior to that on the Challenger circuit, where they split a pair of matches. They have not crossed paths in over three years, which makes it difficult to gauge the potential result. Bouchard should command the match, yet since she is still struggling to find her form, it could be a more competitive match than most would expect.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard in Three Sets