There was much talk and concern regarding the expected performance of Eugenie Bouchard at the season-opening Grand Slam event given her abysmal ending to 2014. However, in her two matches to date this week in Melbourne, she has passed with flying colours and is yet to face a challenge in her draw. That will change on Friday, as the Canadian is scheduled to come up against Caroline Garcia, who defeated her in their only career meeting last year in Acapulco. Check out the Bouchard v Garcia Head to Head.
Against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, Bouchard required minimal effort and only faced a slight hiccup at the end of the match en route to her straight sets victory. Bouchard only dropped three games in the match, all of which took place in the second set. She won 70% of her first service points, hit 20 winners and 14 unforced errors to beat Bertens in 54 minutes of court time.
“I think I put pressure on her a lot and I think probably forced her to make some errors,” Bouchad said. “I was happy with the way I was able to step in and control the, points, whether I did the winner or she did the error. In the end I think that’s how I want to play. Just need to stay a bit more focused at the end to try to close it out. More on my terms.”
Faced with a durable opponent in Stefanie Voegele, France’s Caroline Garcia fired 11 aces, 39 winners and won 94% of her first service points to close out the match 6-3,6-4. The contest lasted 1 hour and 9 minutes and was an entirely lopsided affair on Court 6.
“I know it’s going to be super tough,” said Bouchard of Garcia. “I know she’s a good up-and-comer. She can have some big shots. She’ll definitely, yeah, do some big shots and play well. It’s up to me to try to not let her do that as much as I can, you know, and try to focus on my game and play aggressive. But, yeah, I know I’m going to be up against a tough player who’s going to go for it.”
This marks the second time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Garcia leading the series 1-0 with a win in Acapulco on hard court. These two will likely be in for another three-set thriller, particularly given their most recent performances in Melbourne, but this time it will be Bouchard who will find her best tennis to claw her way to victory.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard in Three Sets