On Tuesday, after barely getting by the first round in a three-set battle, Eugenie Bouchard faced Yue Yuan in a match that seemed almost like a sure thing. That’s the thing about tennis, though. No matter the ranking or the seeding, any day of the week anyone can beat anyone.
The first set was all Yuan. She cruised to take it 6-2, barely breaking a sweat, and the Canadian was in trouble of losing early. Early in the second, set out of nowhere, the Westmount native turned the match on its head–breaking in the second game and jumping out to a 4-1 lead.
Immediately it seemed this was going three again to decide the winner, but in a weird twist of fate Yuan started dominating rallies. She regained control of the match and Bouchard simply had no answer.
Yuan would win five games off the trot to take the match 6-2 6-4 and send the Canadian packing. We saw signs last year near the end of the season that made you think Bouchard might be coming back. She made the final in Istanbul and reached the third round of the French Open, losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek.
Eugenie Bouchard had spent most of her time in Las Vegas training with Gill Reyes. The Canadian continues to search for the game that brought her to a Grand Slam final and a Top 10 ranking. This will likely be a big blow to her confidence as she now heads to play a WTA Challenger in France instead of Australia.
In other Canadian news, it wasn’t all bad on the women’s side. Another Canadian trying to revive her tennis career, Rebecca Marino, booked her spot in the third round of qualifying, beating Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova in straight sets 6-2 7-6(7). She will now she will face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium on Wednesday night.
On the men’s side, Peter Polansky was dominated by Alexandre Muller of France 6-0 6-1. Polansky called for the trainer in the middle of the second set, so maybe there is an injury there.
Australian Open qualifying is being hosted in two different cities. The women are in Dubai while the men are in Doha. The plan is for chartered flights for players to head to Melbourne for the 14-day mandated quarantine.
The players have a modified quarantine. They are able to practice during the day once in Melbourne but are limited to their hotel room and the practice court during the first 14 days. There are some warm-up events in Australia prior to the first Grand Slam of the year so most players who don’t need to qualify will travel much earlier than usual.
Main Photo from Getty.