After a long hiatus due to the global pandemic… professional tennis is officially back!
Playing in one of the first WTA tournaments to return since March, Genie Bouchard caused the upset in her opening match, ousting the No. 8 seed Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3. The recipient of a Wild Card at this week’s Prague Open in the Czech capital, Bouchard dispatched her opponent in 76 minutes to notch her first tour win on clay since 2018.
“It’s hard to know what to expect. I haven’t played a real match since January. I’ve played a couple of exhibitions, which helped a lot, but it’s still different – it’s not a real tournament. I didn’t set any expectations,” said Bouchard.
Next up for the Canadian will be the winner of the match between Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.
Prior to competing in Prague, Bouchard took part in the World Team Tennis event where her team the Chicago Smash finished runner-up.
Leylah reaches the main draw in Lexington
Bouchard is not the only Canadian in action this week. 17-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez advanced to the main draw at the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky after dominating her final match in qualifying, ousting Arina Rodionova by a score of 6-2, 6-3.
Fernandez will now play the seventh seed Sloane Stephens in the opening round. Despite her young age, the Canadian holds a winning record against the American, having beaten her earlier this year in the second round in Monterrey.
Prior to the pause in the season, Fernandez was playing some of her best tennis and making waves on the professional tour. She had qualified for the main draw at the Australian Open and notched her first victory over a Top 5 player when she caused the upset against Belinda Bencic in Fed Cup action. Fernandez also reached her first final on the WTA tour in Acapulco, where she had to go through qualifying before even reaching the main draw.
Feature photo: Jimmie49/WTA