Canada's Bouchard ousted in first round of home tournament
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[August 09, 2017]
By Steve Keating
TORONTO (Reuters) - Eugenie Bouchard's
mid-season nosedive continued on Tuesday as the Canadian was swept
aside 6-3 6-4 by Croatian qualifier Donna Vekic despite having home
advantage and the backing of an excited crowd in a first round clash
at the Rogers Cup.
With only one match win since her French Open second round exit,
Bouchard was hoping a visit home would result in a return to the
But she drew little inspiration from the crowd as she added to a
long list of disappointing efforts, committing 32 unforced errors
and seven double faults while being broken six times by a
21-year-old making a her first appearance in the main draw.
"I guess I am going to have to have a tournament in Croatia to
finally have the home crowd," said Vekic, who earned a second round
meeting with German third seed and former world number one Angelique
"I hope I am going to have support (in the) next match and I hope we
are going to play on this court again," added Vekic.
Bouchard, ranked as high as number five and hailed as the next big
thing in women's tennis when she reached the Wimbledon final and the
semi-finals at the Australian Open and Roland Garros in 2014, has
seen her ranking plummet to 70 in the world and needed a wildcard
entry into her home tournament.
The Rogers Cup, which alternates between Toronto and Montreal where
Bouchard was born and raised, has never exactly been home-sweet-home
for the Canadian who has made seven main draw appearances but four
times dropped her opening match and only once advanced past the
While her ranking does not rate center court status, Bouchard's
immense popularity does, the smiling 23-year-old stepping into the
sun-kissed arena to huge applause before exiting 94 minutes later
with a blank face and a sheepish wave.
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Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) in action against Donna Vekic (CRO) in the
second set during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre.
Mandatory Credit: Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports
Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki opened her
campaign with a 6-3 6-0 second round rout of Ekaterina Alexandrova.
The Dane, who captured the Canadian trophy in 2010, is still looking
for her first title of the season after being in five finals.
Polish 10th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the Rogers Cup winner in 2014,
kicked off her North American hardcourt campaign with a regulation
6-3 6-3 win over American CoCo Vandeweghe, who lost the final in
Stanford on Sunday to compatriot Madison Keys.
"In tennis you donít have easy draws - you have bad ones, or really
bad ones,Ē said Radwanska, who will next play either Hungary's Timea
Babos or Canadian Bianca Andreescu. "From the first round, you
really have to play your best game to win."
Russian 16th seed Elena Vesnina was also an easy winner, dispatching
another American Alison Riske 6-3 6-3.
Catherine Bellis kept Tuesday from becoming a complete washout for
the United States as the 18-year-old battled back from a set down to
outlast Germany's Julia Goerges 4-6 6-3 6-2.
(Additional reporting by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ken Ferris/Peter
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