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Home   News   Bouchard back to winning ways in Madrid

Bouchard back to winning ways in Madrid

May 06, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

An inspired performance by Genie Bouchard saw her get her first-ever win at the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday against Alize Cornet. Bouchard won their first round encounter 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Heading in to this match, the pair were even in their head-to-head record with two wins each. Cornet, however, won their only previous clay meeting in the semi-finals of Strasbourg in 2013.

Bouchard started promisingly in this encounter. A confident first service game was followed up with a convincing break of Cornet’s serve and then a hold to love to edge ahead 3-1. Aggressive groundstrokes and a variety of shotmaking by the Canadian kept her opponent off balance and allowed Bouchard to dictate most of the rallies.

Bouchard, who has struggled with her form since the Australian Open Series, did not face a break point in the first set. In the set, Bouchard won 11 of 30 of her return points (breaking only once) and 21 of 29 points on her own serve. Both players hit 7 winners to 8 unforced errors but it was Bouchard who grasped the momentum.

Unlike the first set, the second set started with six consecutive breaks of serve.

After a lengthy rally in the second game of the set, momentum narrowly shifted in favour of Cornet, who was beginning to threaten Bouchard’s serve for the first time in the match. Bouchard was already up a break in the set at this time.

Cornet ended the streak of dropping serve when she held to love for a 4-3 lead. She was on an eight-point slide over Bouchard, who surrendered the lead for the first time since the second game of the match. Bouchard held serve in the following game for the first time in the set.

Cornet edged ahead 5-4 on serve and broke Bouchard at 30 in the next game to claim the second set.

A notable shift in Bouchard’s confidence was asserted to begin the third set. Coming in to the net on the first point, Bouchard put away a smash. It was a small indicator at her opponent that she would not go away easily.

Like the previous two sets, Bouchard broke Cornet for a 2-1 lead. A tough hold to edge ahead 3-1 was followed by an impressive return game. Bouchard wrong-footed Cornet twice at the net and blasted two brilliant passing shots for a 0-30 lead, eventually breaking to love and holding a 4-1 lead.

Bouchard cruised from there and comfortably went on to claim the win in three competitive sets. On a return winner, Bouchard got her first WTA level match win since January.

Bouchard will face the winner of Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Maria Sharapova in the second round. Bouchard trailed the head-to-head record against Sharapova 4-0, including two defeats at Roland Garros. She has never faced Lucic-Baroni.

 

Feature photo via Twitter.