MONTRÉAL, Canada - American qualifier Shelby Rogers defeated Eugenie Bouchard in an absolute stunner at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday night, coming out firing and, after losing her way in the second set, finding that firepower again to win the third set and score the first Top 10 win of her career.
Rogers' momentum started to build a few weeks ago at a smaller clay court event in Bad Gastein - she made it all the way to her first WTA final there, and recorded her first two Top 20 wins along the way, against Carla Suárez Navarro and Sara Errani. She didn't lose a set in the qualies here, either.
And all of that may have built towards this - the first big upset of this year's Rogers Cup, and a heartbreaker for thousands and thousands of local fans who came out to watch their hometown girl show her stuff on a Premier-level stage. Rogers was almost flawless in the first set, thumping her big groundstrokes to perfection and producing seven winners, one unforced error, and a 6-0 set.
After falling behind 15-40 while serving in the opening game of the second set, the No.5-seeded Bouchard did what she has done so many times before - she played her way back into it, holding there then breaking, and not too much later she had the set, 6-2. It looked like a comeback was brewing.
But Rogers silenced that in a lopsided 29-minute third set, polishing off a 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 victory.
"This was my first experience in an atmosphere like this - the whole stadium cheering for one person," Rogers said. "I really respect what she's done. It's incredible to see how much support she has.
"But I was just trying to stay in my little zone, zone it out. I knew she would raise her level after the first set. She has so many weapons. And she played amazing in the second set. There's not much you can do when she's on. In the third set I just took it one point at a time and stuck to my routines."
Bouchard talked about the loss in her post-match press conference.
"I think I was feeling the pressure a little bit on the court - I felt a little match rusty, kind of," she said. "But I knew coming into the match that I can't use those as excuses. I knew it would be kind of a difficult situation. But I'm happy I was able to at least prove to myself that I could turn things around and not let the match run away from me completely. That's definitely a positive from the match."
The Canadian, one of the brightest WTA Rising Stars, had only kind words for Rogers.
"She was solid the whole match - she never really sprayed too many balls, and she was always there," Bouchard said. "Whenever I let up a little bit, which I think I did in the third, she was all over it.
"She definitely took the match."
Ivanovic, who was playing her first match since returning to the Top 10 for the first time in more than five years on Monday, beat Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky in an hour and 11 minutes, 6-1, 6-2.
The former No.1 has now won a WTA-leading 42 matches this year. Suárez Navarro is next with 38.
Thanks for all the support! What an awesome night for me at the @CoupeRogers Love you all! ??