Although Eugenie Bouchard has recently made headlines for a celebrity doubles match alongside Justin Bieber, the Canadian No. 1 is scheduled to begin her campaign in Indian Wells on Friday afternoon. In an interesting turn of events, Bouchard will open up against Lucie Hradecka, who has previously beaten her on the professional tour. Hradecka leads the head-to-head series 1-0 and also beat Bouchard in a 50K series match prior to that as well.
After a decent run at the Australian Open, Bouchard announced that she had hired Sam Sumyk, Victoria Azarenka’s former coach, as her new mentor for the season. They began working together in Antwerp, where the Canadian lost her opening match against Mona Barthel. She cited fatigue as part of the reason for her shortcomings, so it will be interesting to see how she performs now that she is well rested.
World No. 121 Lucie Hradecka qualified for the Indian Wells Premier event with a pair of victories over this past week, the first of which was against Ana Konjuh, and Alexandra Panova. She then began her main draw campaign against Jana Cepelova, whom she upset 6-3 6-1 to reach the second round. She hit five aces, won 84% of her first service points, and saved three break points to earn the victory in 65 minutes.
This marks the second time that Bouchard and Hradecka will meet on the WTA tour, and the first time since 2012. Much has changed since that encounter, where Hradecka defeated her Canadian adversary 7-6(2) 2-6 7-6(4) in Quebec City. More recently, Bouchard armed herself with a new coach and it will be intriguing to see how that impacts her game on Friday.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard in Three Sets