QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - The first round ended and the second round began at the Bell Challenge on Wednesday, with Canadian No.1 Eugenie Bouchard stealing the show with a steely victory at night.
In the last first round match to take the court this week, the No.5-seeded Bouchard led 61 20 with four points for 61 30 when Sofia Arvidsson took over completely, reeling off the next seven games in a row to take the second set and hold serve in the first game of the third. The two were neck-and-neck throughout that third set but when faced with the danger of being two points from losing serving at 5-6, 15-30, Bouchard lifted up, winning 11 of the next 12 points to run away with it, 61 26 76(0).
"I should have won the match in straight sets, but I just missed a few shots and she started playing better, and all of a sudden the momentum completely changed," Bouchard said. "The third set was so close. It was a really big battle. But I think I played my best tennis at the very end of the match - when it was 5-6 I knew I just had to stay aggressive, and I think that's why it finished well for me tonight.
"I think the fans enjoyed the battle - it was a great crowd, and I love playing at home."
The other two first round matches were those of the new US Open champions, Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, but unfortunately only one was able to advance, and that was Hlavackova, who won a dramatic three-setter against Anastasia Rodionova, 76(3) 57 61. Hradecka, who was a finalist at this tournament last year, just couldn't make it happen against Petra Martic and her nine aces, 64 76(1).
Hlavackova and Hradecka are still both in the doubles tournament though - this week's No.1 seeds.
The second round also began, with Polona Hercog following up her upset of No.1 seed Kirsten Flipkens with a 60 62 drubbing of French qualifier Julie Coin, and Christina McHale scoring an upset, rallying from 62 31 down and eventually making it past No.8 seed Caroline Garcia, 26 76(7) 63.
The last match of the night session saw No.6 seed Marina Erakovic beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in an hour and 22 minutes, 62 61. It was actually a rematch of the 2011 final at the Bell Challenge, and the reverse result - Zahlavova Strycova defeated Erakovic for the title that time, 46 61 60.
The second round comes to a close on Thursday with five more quarterfinal spots up for grabs.