TORONTO, Canada - Playing her first main draw match since losing an epic Wimbledon encounter to Johanna Konta, qualifier Donna Vekic ousted Eugenie Bouchard in the first round of the Rogers Cup, 6-3, 6-4.
The Croatian scored her second win against a home favorite during her stay in Toronto thus far, having also defeated wildcard Carson Branstine in her first qualifying match.
Though both players struggled on serve over the course of the 94-minute opener, it was Vekic who produced far more break point opportunities with clean hitting on return and off the ground.
The World No.51 broke serve six times in the match on 14 opportunities total, and won over 50 percent of points on return - while Bouchard managed to break three times in five looks.
"It was a very tough match, but I'm happy to have won it in two sets," Vekic assessed. "I knew she tries to be aggressive, take the ball early. I was struggling a bit with my serve because she was so aggressive, and returning very well. To get rhythm was quite tough, but I tried to stay in the point and run for every ball."
Vekic struck a total of 20 winners to 17 unforced errors of the course of the match, and sets up a second round meeting with No.3 seed Angelique Kerber.
"It's just the next match, and she was No.1 until very recently," Vekic said. "It's going to be a tough match for me, but I'm going to try and go out there and enjoy and improve from my previous matches."
Early action around the ground saw CiCi Bellis continue her recent run of winning form, as she came out on top in a match of two in-form players against Julia Goerges, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Citi Open runner-up won the opening set, but the Bank of the West Classic semifinalist found her feet in sets two and three to advance to the next round and a date with No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
"She was serving really well today, so I tried to stay as positive as I could in her service games," Bellis told WTA Insider after the match. "I think the balls fly so much more in Stanford than they do here, so it was definitely an adjustment. In the first set, it caught me a little off-guard...but I ended up getting used to it."
No.16 seed Elena Vesnina was the lone seeded player in action early on day two, and she advanced to round two with a 6-3, 6-3 win over American Alison Riske.
France's Caroline Garcia rebounded in a decider after Sorana Cirstea rallied from 5-2 down to take the second set and win in three, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4, while Citi Open champion Ekaterina Makarova kept her winning streak going with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Peng Shuai.
Defending champion Simona Halep's first round opponent was also decided, as Wimbledon semifinalist Magdalenda Rybarikova, who lost in qualifying but entered the draw as a lucky loser for Madison Keys, beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 7-5, 6-0.