After a disastrous 2019 campaign, during which she once held a 19-match losing streak, Eugenie Bouchard seems to be on an upward trajectory. The first positive signs came during the exhibition season, where she managed to beat players like Olga Govortsova or Leylah Fernandez. It might not seem like much, but Bouchard has been really desperate for decent wins for a while. The Canadian then had a decent week in Prague right after the restart, losing a quarterfinal game to Elise Mertens.
The 2014 Wimbledon runner-up qualified or the 2020 Istanbul Cup with straight-set wins over Ivana Jorovic and Leonie Kung. But the big breakthrough came in the second round, when she upset top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova. She was then able to follow it up with victories against Danka Kovinic and Paula Badosa Gilbert. That took her to her first championship match since March 2016. Despite being a former world No. 5, Bouchard has only one tour-level title to her name (Nuremberg 2014).
Her last opponent in Istanbul will be Patricia Maria Tig. The 26-year-old Romanian missed almost two years of play after an injury stopped her progress. During that hiatus, she also gave birth to a daughter. With the injuries behind her and her personal life stabilized, Tig is now on the way to realize her potential. Her comeback last year was going at a rather slow pace but she’s been playing excellent tennis this week in Istanbul. She kicked off with a 6-3 7-5 win over Olga Danilovic and then turned her level up even higher. Misaki Doi managed to get just two games off her, second-seeded Rebecca Peterson took four. In the semifinals, Tig defeated a revelation of this tournament, Tereza Martincova, 6-3 6-3 to reach her third WTA final.
They have never faced each other before. While Tig has been playing very well of the ground, she lacks the consistent depth on her shots to push Bouchard behind. The Canadian will be extremely determined to get her second WTA title and the first one in six years. Tig can construct the points well when she has the space to do so, but Bouchard will do her best not to give her much time.
Prediction: Bouchard in 2