Barbora Strycova maintained her composure to defeat Eugenie Bouchard in their rain-affected first round encounter at the Western & Southern Open.
WTA Staff

CINCINNATI, OH, USA - Barbora Strycova maintained her composure to defeat Eugenie Bouchard in their rain-affected first-round encounter at the Western & Southern Open.

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A match scheduled second on the order of play eventually finished under the floodlights, Strycova making light of several interruptions from the weather to complete a 6-4, 6-0 victory.

"I'm not sure how I stayed focused through all of it. I think the first set was the deciding point - I was holding serve all the time and then I broke her at 3-3. I believed in myself and I'm happy that I did it," Strycova said in her on-court interview.

Despite defeating Bouchard handily in Rome earlier in the season, there was no danger of complacency on Strycova's part; the Canadian is a different proposition on hard as proved by impressively qualifying for the main draw.

And she started their rematch confidently enough, firing a forehand into the corner to carve out the first break point. Strycova, though, managed to repel this early danger and was soon presented with a chance of her own. Bouchard fired wide and it proved a costly error as the Czech hung onto this slender advantage to take the set.

As the clouds began to gather menacingly overhead, Strycova hurtled towards the finishing line, playing the tidier tennis to open a 5-0 lead in the second set. Another lengthy downpour halted her progress temporarily before returning to rattle off the final four points of the match.

"I felt good today and Eugenie is such a good player that you always have to stay focused," Strycova, who finished with 15 winners and 19 unforced errors, said. "That's what I did today and I think that was the key."

Strycova turned 30 earlier this year but is arguably playing the best tennis of her career; finals in Dubai and Birmingham have helped propelled her back into the Top 20, while in doubles she teamed up with Lucie Safarova to win Olympic bronze.

In the next round she will play another of the tour's elder stateswomen, former US Open champion and No.14 seed Samantha Stosur.