Following up on her strong run to the semi-final stage of the event last season, Eugenie Bouchard kicked off her 2015 campaign in promising fashion and needed just a pair of sets to advance to the second round of the Australian Open. She will next encounter Kiki Bertens, whom she has never faced previously on the professional circuit.
In her opening match, Bouchard needed 1 hour and 18 minutes to dispatch Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2, 6-4. She struck 3 aces, won 72% of her first service points and hit 20 winners to reach the second round of the tournament. While the score may not show it, the two ladies played several remarkable points that covered the entire court.
“The Genie Army started here last year, I’m happy they are still alive and strong,” Bouchard said. “The first match of a Grand Slam is never easy. I’m happy to get through,” she said. “I’m so happy to be back in Melbourne. The support here is crazy.”
“I was happy to start strong,” said Bouchard after the match. “Conditions were tough; it was a bit windy and she’s a good player. I was happy to stay solid, but there are still a lot of things to improve.”
Her opponent, Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, defeated Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-5 (10-8), 5-7, 6-2 to reach the second round of the tournament. Bertens hit 3 aces, won 57% of her first service points and managed 31 winners to secure the much needed win to set up her encounter with Bouchard.
This marks the first time that Bouchard and Bertens will meet on the professional tour and will likely serve as another straightforward contest for the Canadian youngster. She appears determined and motivated to blossom at the season-opening Grand Slam event.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard in Straight Sets