Bouchard Through In Nürnberg
Published May 19, 2014 12:13
After falling at the opening hurdle in Madrid and Rome, Bouchard's 6-0, 6-3 triumph over Zahlavova Strycova provided a timely confidence boost ahead of the French Open, which begins on Sunday.
Any early nerves that may have been lurking were soon banished as the No.2 seed raced through the first set in under half an hour, before taking complete control with a break at the start of the second.
Some belated resistance from Zahlavova Strycova, who carved out a couple of chances to draw level, momentarily slowed down her progress, but the Canadian was soon on the front foot again, wrapping up victory with her fifth break of the match.
"For me, it wasn't easy because it's always hard work against these girls," Bouchard said. "I felt like I played really well in the first set and I was really trying to step in and be aggressive and that put a lot of pressure on her.
"It was definitely tighter in the second, but I'm always trying to play as well as I can so it's good to have these challenges. I'm happy to get a win and looking forward to the next round."
"I had a few tough weeks," she said when asked about her early losses in Madrid and Rome. "But at the same time, my tennis wasn't at the level I want it to be. I felt like I was playing well, but I just didn't perform in those matches.
"I had a good week of practice here and I feel like I'm a bit more active, moving better and hitting the ball a bit more freely now. It's my last chance for preparation ahead of the French Open so I want to do as well as I can."
Like Bouchard, Garcia, the No.7 seed this week, has enjoyed an encouraging start to the season, but she came perilously close to a first round exit, eventually seeing off qualifier Julia Glushko, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5. No.4 seed Svitolina was also made to work hard, defeating Iveta Melzer, 7-5, 6-4, while Pliskova upset No.5 seed Yvonne Meusburger, 6-3, 6-4.