O Canada: Bouchard Toughs It Out
Published January 15, 2014 12:14
MELBOURNE, Australia - After winning about as dramatic a second set possible, Eugenie Bouchard got about as warm a reception as possible as she marched into the third round in Melbourne.
Taking on Virginie Razzano, Bouchard had few problems in the first set, taking it 6-2. But the second set was anything but straightforward - first Razzano went up 4-1, then Bouchard won four games in a row to lead 5-4 and held two match points in that game, but then Razzano pushed it to a tie-break.
There were all kinds of missed opportunities in the breaker - Bouchard missed three match points, while Razzano squandered two set points - but with a huge forehand winner it was all over, and the No.30-seeded Bouchard made it past Razzano after a one-hour, 57-minute nail-biter, 62 76(10).
"I hope it was exciting - it was kind of crazy," Bouchard said of the breaker. "It became mental and I just had to fight out there. I'm happy I pulled through in the end. We had some pretty crazy points.
"I was just in the moment, just trying to go for it. She played some really good points on my match points too. It was a little back and forth. I felt overall I didn't play as well as I know I can. But, even if it's a bit ugly, you still have to fight and try your best. Yeah, I'm happy I pulled it through."
Afterwards, a group of Bouchard's fans sang O Canada - she was asked about it in her presser.
"Yeah, they're amazing," Bouchard said. "I don't know where they came from, these Australian guys, but they're really supportive. They just come up with all these songs. It's really cool. I think it actually gets the rest of the crowd really involved, as well. They had better show up to my next match!"
Her fans also gave her a gift. "They gave me a little koala," she said. "They call themselves the Genie Army. It's a reminder of who they are - my Australian support. I'll put it in my room somewhere."
"No secret it's going to be a tough match," Ivanovic said. "I had two tough matches last year against Sam. I lost one, won one. She's a tough player with a very strong game. I have to raise my level."
"Last two tournaments last year we played, she won one, I won one - couple three-setters in there," Stosur said. "I'm looking forward to it. I'm happy to be in the third round. I want to keep going."
Stosur leads Ivanovic in their head-to-head series, 4-3, though Ivanovic won their last one.
Other winners on Day 3 included No.1 seed Serena Williams, who rolled past Vesna Dolonc, 61 62; No.4 seed Li Na, who beat Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic after a very tight finish, 60 76(5); No.9 seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Russian qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva, 64 62; and No.22 seed and two-time Aussie Open quarterfinalist Ekaterina Makarova, who beat American lucky loser Irina Falconi, 62 75.