Eugenie Bouchard found herself on the outside looking in once again, this time on home soil. The 21 year old could not keep up against Swiss star Belinda Bencic losing 0-6, 7-5, 2-6 on Centre Court at the Rogers Cup Tuesday. It was the second time Bouchard was eliminated from the Canadian tournament in another disappointment to add to the list.
This made the fifth time the Canadian took stage in her home country where many were hoping that she’d make it the best one of her season. So far she had been below the level most expected to see from her after finishing as finalist at Wimbledon last year. Since then, she has been falling out of tournaments so fast that the thought of her was distant to most fans of the sport.
Bouchard has one just once in her last ten matches dating back to Eastbourne in mid June. She and her game have been absent from the court in competition but not from the sessions putting her game in some stability. With her best performance at home making the second round her match against Bencic will be one to see.
The 20-year-old Swiss player barely got two sets with Bouchard when the Canadian retired from play in the third round. Since then she has been very much into play making a fourth round run at Wimbledon and a second round exit in Washington. With her hopes to playing a full set against Bouchard, Bencic will hope that she can get in a solid match to put her skills to the test.
Bouchard started the match with three consecutive unforced errors that put her down 0-40 to Bencic. Before the fans could lock their expectations in, the Canadian pulled out a winner and made her climb back before losing the game on a shot from Bencic that gave her the win. Bencic backed up the break of serve by performing a love service taking a 2-0 lead.
The concerns were beginning to loom as the 21 year old from Montreal showed signs of overcompensating her attempts to shoot accurately. Despite her well laid out ace, Bouchard couldn’t hold serve against Bencic falling out of a third straight game. Just 15 minutes had elapsed in the match with the worse coming true as the Swiss star found herself up 4-0 quieting the majority Canadian crowd.
It only became the usual result for Bouchard, as she was swept through the set with Bencic still pedal to the metal that was won in 25 minutes. Though the numbers didn’t look like a sweep, it was clear that the Swiss tennis star was in control of her skills while Bouchard continued to struggle with her own.
In a surprise start to the second set, Bouchard attacked near the net that helped her win the opening game. Bencic made unforced errors that contributed to Bouchard rolling right along with points. In Game Three, Bouchard found herself up 3-0 after fight well on deuce to hold serve and lead the set.
All good things came to a swift end as Bencic rallied back to win three games to tie the set and threaten to put an end to the match. In the critical seventh game with Bouchard in control of the serve, she pushed hard to even up with Bencic forcing an important deuce draw for her to win.
After four breaks, the game went to Bencic who was again in control of the match sitting two games from victory. Bencic went up 5-3 with the chance of upsetting Bouchard on home soil, but the Canadian wouldn’t go down this early in the tournament. While on serve, Bouchard showed better movements and terrific response on the ball to come within a game of the Swiss.
The tenth game was a do or die moment for Bouchard as she was playing to stay alive. In a strong fight with Bencic she forced deuce with the Swiss ending her two chances on match point to win it and send the set to its breaking point. Losing tension in her racket, Bencic went to get another racket during Game 11 where she had to work against Bouchard on serve.
It didn’t work out as Bouchard found the open court gaining enough ground to be in position to win the set. The Canadian charged back into play forcing deuce and winning on a rally that had Bencic running from side to side until it was too much for her to take. The battle of the set lasted 63 minutes as the complete turnaround for Bouchard had her sitting on a four game winning streak.
She made it five in a row holding serve against Bencic in the opening game of the third set. With all the momentum in her end, it looked as if the Canadian had a strong grip. Bencic answered to end Bouchard’s winning streak landing a victory in the second game showing that she had some competition left in the tank. She took the lead from the Canadian hoping that Bouchard would go back to making the mistakes instead.
That wasn’t the case as Bouchard worked her way into the set sitting a game down of Bencic after five games. The hope for a comeback began to fade away once more as Bencic opened the gap to three games setting up a third try to seal the match. She would get it done on a double match point ending the two-hour battle.
Bencic had the edge nearing the end of the match but aside from the numbers, Bouchard’s unending losing streak was the major factor of her advancement into the second round. Bencic will need to bring a strong game into the round of 32 as she faces Caroline Wozniacki Wednesday.