Photo: ©TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Championship Istanbul
After a week that saw a number of impressive Canadian performances at the US Open, Genie Bouchard made a remarkable run of her own at the Istanbul Open, a WTA International tournament. The Canadian came close to lifting the trophy on Sunday, but ultimately fell in a three-set match to Patricia Maria Tig of Romania.
Bouchard was competing in her first WTA singles final in over four years, the last one coming at the Malaysian Open in 2016. She had to win her two qualifying matches in Istanbul before even reaching the main draw.
In the final, Bouchard was facing an opponent who had been playing dominant tennis all week, not dropping a set before Sunday. In fact, Tig ousted the eighth and second seeds earlier in the tournament. For her part, the Canadian also eliminated a top seed, overcoming the tournament favourite Svetlana Kuznetsova in a tightly disputed second round match.
It was Bouchard who went up an early break in the opening set. She showcased a great amount of patience, particularly during long rallies, where she often came out on the winning end. She needed just a little over half an hour to take the opening set.
The momentum shifted in the second, with Tig stepping up her game and Bouchard committing a lot more errors, notably struggling on serve. The match would require a third set where the Canadian found herself down by an early break once again. The players exchanged a few breaks towards the end, with Bouchard saving a total of six championship points to keep herself in the match.
A fitting end to a competitive final, the third set required a tiebreak. The Canadian fought until the very end, but came up just short of the title, falling by a score of 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4).
“It was a great match today, congratulations to Patricia for your victory. I would like to thank my family, friends and fans who have been watching from all around the world, waking up early to watch me and support me. This was a very memorable week in Istanbul and I’m looking forward to being back,” stated Bouchard after the match.
With her performance this week, Bouchard should move up around 100 spots in the rankings bringing her to the No. 163 spot when the new rankings are published on Monday.