On May 11, 2016, Genie Bouchard stunned Angelique Kerber in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome 6-1, 5-7, 7-5, three months after Kerber won her first Major title at the Australian Open.
On May 10, 2017, the two will meet again on the European clay – this time in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Bouchard leads the head-to-head record 3-2 against Kerber. This includes a 2-0 record on clay with wins coming in the fourth round of Roland Garros in 2014 and the second round in Rome last year. A straight sets win at Wimbledon followed the Roland Garros victory in 2014, Bouchard’s career-best year to date.
For a recap of their last meeting, check out the match highlights below.
Kerber won the pair’s most recent meeting at the 2016 Rio Olympics by a score of 6-4, 6-2. Her other victory came in the second round of the 2013 US Open in a tight 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 encounter. Both wins were on hard courts.
Both players have struggled to find their best form thus far in 2017 – Bouchard holds a 7-9 record, Kerber is 17-10 through four months of action. Kerber has made one final in 2017 – Monterrey – but lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three lopsided sets. Bouchard has one semi-final appearance in Sydney.
Both players toughed out length three set matches in the second round to advance.
Kerber started her Madrid campaign with a solid 6-4, 6-2 win against Timea Babos. That was backed-up against Czech rising star and world no. 37 Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 in two hours.
The way the draw unfolded, Kerber will not play a seeded player until Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals – assuming Kerber beats Bouchard and Kuznetsova wins her third round match.
The first four months of Kerber’s season have seen her trade the no. 1 ranking with Serena Williams back-and-forth twice already. Serena is out for the remainder of the season as she awaits the arrival of her first child, meaning Kerber stands alone at the top. She regained the top spot this week after her first round victory and will now try to create a distance between herself and world no. 3 Karolina Pliskova.
Scrapes past Siniakova 6-2, 1-6, 7-5! pic.twitter.com/zqzGZ4Eh4H
— WTA (@WTA) May 8, 2017
Bouchard has showcased her best form in months thus far in the Spanish capital. The 23-year-old Canadian captured her first-ever win in Madrid with 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win against Alizé Cornet. What followed was a thrilling victory over 5-time Major champion Maria Sharapova. Bouchard won 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in their match that was just shy of three hours.
Prior to these wins, Bouchard’s last three set victory came against Lucie Safarova in July 2016 in the first round of Coupe Rogers. A 10-month losing streak of matches that go the distance has ended for the Canadian.
One week ago, Bouchard was on a five-match losing streak upon a loss to Jana Cepelova in Istanbul. Bouchard’s current ranking (no. 60) meant that she would not immediately be admitted into the main draw of the Madrid Open and would have to play in the qualifying draw. With the fortune of a few withdrawals, Bouchard got automatic entry into the main draw.
Her first two matches have shown a slow return to the form that saw her reach the semi-finals at the Australian Open and Roland Garros and reach the Wimbledon final just a few years ago.
Unbeaten against Kerber on clay, Bouchard will look to capitalize on her good results thus far and keep advancing in Madrid.
.@GenieBouchard stuns Sharapova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4!
— WTA (@WTA) May 8, 2017
Whichever player wins this third round match will likely face Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals. Madison Keys and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were victims of early upsets in Madrid this year, meaning Kristina Mladenovic and Dominika Cibulkova serve as the most likely semi-final opponents.
In the bottom half, Johanna Konta, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elena Vesnina, and Karolina Pliskova have already been eliminated. Simona Halep, Barbora Strycova and Samantha Stosur are the only seeds remaining – only one of which will make the final.
By seeding, the road to the final for Bouchard or Kerber is: Kuznetsova (QF), Cibulkova (SF), Halep (F).
Bouchard vs. Kerber will be on TVA and livestreamed on YouTube at 2 P.M. EST.