Photo: ©TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul
Canadian Genie Bouchard is into the second round of the French Open for the first time since 2017 following a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Anna Kalinskaya in Paris. The 26-year-old’s performances since the restart have been impressive and this victory over the Russian represents another positive step in her return to form.
The match at Roland Garros was the first meeting between the two players in their careers. Bouchard’s entry in the main draw came after she was handed a wild card by the tournament. Her run to the final at in Istanbul as well as a quarter-finals appearance at the Prague Open has turned heads in the last couple of months.
Bouchard, facing a player ranked 60 places higher than her on the WTA Tour, dropped her serve twice in the first set. However, she put immense pressure on Kalinskaya and broke the Russian on three occasions to ensure she was in pole position heading into the second set.
The inconsistency on-serve continued as the Canadian and Kalinskaya exchanged five breaks again at the start of the second set. Fortunately for Bouchard, the decisive break fell in her favour, and won her the match, as she sailed into the second round.
There, she will take on Daria Gavrilova after the Australian produced a shock upset to defeat 24th seed Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine. Gavrilova is ranked No. 788 – but managed to muster a straight-sets, 6-4, 6-3 win over Yastremska (No. 28).