PARIS, France - No.8 seed Timea Bacsinszky overcame a wobbly start against Sílvia Soler-Espinosa to advance to the second round of Roland Garros, where she's set to clash with a resurging Eugenie Bouchard.
Bacsinszky has comfortably defeated the lucky loser Soler-Espinosa in each of their previous three encounters. In fact, the Swiss has never dropped more than two games in a set against her. Although the Spaniard, who earlier this year made the final of Bogota, is known for her skill on clay courts she was unable to up any more resistance, falling to Bacsinszky 6-3, 6-1.
"I'm very happy, happy with this first win here," Bacsinszky said after the match. "I did exactly what I have been trying to do; not to be brilliant but to be good."
Bacsinszky and Soler-Espinosa played tug of war for most of the tense first set, which saw them reach break twice and deuce five times in the first three games of the match. The two traded breaks again, this time at 3-2 and 3-3, before Bacsinszky pulled ahead and rattled off the next three games to take the first set. In the second she was more deadly, and after breaking right away to grab an early lead, Bacsinszky ran away with the last four consecutive games to seal the match in just over an hour and 10 minutes.
Bacsinszky's aggressive style of play proved to be the difference-maker: Soler-Espinosa struck just four winners - none in the second set - and fourteen unforced errors in the match to Bacsinszky's 30 and 33.
"I'm very happy to have changed the pace of the match," Bacsinszky said. "I took some risks, even though after a while I thought I had some leeway or room for maneuver."
"I thought I was rather with courage, generally speaking, and the longer the match, the better I was feeling. I felt I'm in a comfort zone for me, and then I could unwind a little at the end of the match and relax, and therefore, do what I wanted to do today."
"I would give myself an A," Bouchard said after the match. "I felt I was very focused throughout the whole match. I let up a little bit at the beginning the second set, but was able to regain my concentration right away. I think it was very good, focused effort from me today."
Though Bacsinszky and Bouchard have only met once previously, the encounter is still fresh in the Canadian's mind. She took the World No.9 to three sets earlier this year in Indian Wells, losing 2-6, 7-5, 2-6.
"I'm excited. I want a rematch from Indian Wells," Bouchard said of their upcoming match. "I know she plays great, especially on this surface, I think. But I'm going to go for it.
"I know with my game that I can definitely come out on top, but as usual it's always one point at a time."
? Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) May 24, 2016