O Canada! Bouchard Wins First WTA Title
Published May 24, 2014 12:15
NÜRNBERG, Germany - In a perfect confidence boost going into the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, WTA rising star Eugenie Bouchard won the first WTA title of her career, overcoming the big-serving Karolina Pliskova to conquer the NÜRNBERGER VERSICHERUNGSCUP in Nürnberg.
Bouchard has been piling up the accomplishments since last year, her greatest result being, of course, her run to the semifinals of the Australian Open, which wasn't only her first Grand Slam semifinal - it was just the second time ever that a Canadian had reached a Grand Slam semifinal, after Carling Bassett-Seguso did it at the US Open back in 1984. After Australia, Bouchard broke the Top 20 - just the third Canadian woman ever to reach the Top 20, after Bassett-Seguso and Helen Kelesi.
But there was one thing missing - a WTA title. And that was probably on the Canadian's mind.
The Turning Point
There was actually one very big turning point in the match - leading 6-2, 4-2, Bouchard looked headed for a routine straight set victory, but Pliskova reeled off four games in a row to snatch the second set right from under her. But the No.1-seeded Bouchard regrouped very well in the third, never falling behind to close out the unseeded Czech in three sets in an hour and 53 minutes, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
By The Numbers
Bouchard was just a little bit better in just about every department. Apart from ace-to-double fault ratio (Pliskova was 7-1, Bouchard was 3-4) the Canadian came out on top in every category, from first serve points won (67% compared to 63%) all the way to second serve return points won (67% to 59%).
An even bigger stat is that Bouchard is just the second Canadian in the last 26 years to win a WTA title - since 1988, only she and Aleksandra Wozniak have done it (Wozniak won Stanford in 2008).
Other Canadians to win WTA titles: Patricia Hy-Boulais (1986 Taipei), Bassett-Seguso (1983 Hershey and 1987 Strasbourg), Kelesi (1986 Tokyo and 1988 Taranto) and Jill Hetherington (1988 Wellington).
"Today it was important to just keep at it," Bouchard said. "She's a great player, and she can be very dangerous at times, so I'm really glad I stayed with it and kept fighting for it during the third set.
"This is kind of like a stepping stone for me. Winning a WTA title is of course a goal I've had, and I'm so happy to accomplish it, but I still want to achieve more - more titles, bigger titles - so this is a step in the right direction, and it's part of the dream, but I want to move forward and keep going from here.
"I love Nürnberg. This city will always be special to me because it's where I won my first title."
Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) May 24, 2014