Photo by Jorge Ferrari

The challenge when facing Jelena Ostapenko on a tennis court is that her opponent often doesn’t dictate how a match will be played and its outcome is usually on the Latvian’s racquet. Unfortunately, Eugenie Bouchard got a taste of that exact medicine on Wednesday afternoon in the second round of the Guadalajara Open in Mexico.

One day after winning her first match at a WTA 1000 event since 2019, the Canadian was overpowered by the former Roland-Garros champion and the tournament’s no. 12 seed 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.

Despite the final score, Bouchard could have just as easily won the match in straight sets. The opening frame saw five breaks of serve in the first six games and a 4-1, double break advantage for the former world no. 5. She served for the set at 5-4 but was unable to make the most of her opportunity and Ostapenko made her pay winning the final three games to get an unexpected lead.

In set two, Bouchard remained patient, defended Ostapenko’s power well and picked her moments to attack with a smart game plan, accurate groundstrokes and timely serves to keep her opponent off balance. She once again held a 4-1 lead with a double break and made sure not to let the lead slip away this time. She quickly levelled the match and appeared to have all the momentum heading into the final set.   

READ: Bouchard Wins First WTA 1000 Match Since 2019; Andreescu Solves Kvitova

However, Ostapenko was unphased by her adversary’s surge. She came out firing on all cylinders to win the first four games, a lead that was ultimately insurmountable for Bouchard who still fought until the last point which ended up being Ostapenko’s fourth chance to close out the match.

In the end, the Montreal native put together yet another strong week during just the seventh tournament of her comeback and will see her ranking rising inside the Top 350 with a few more events still to come to close out her 2022 season.