Eugenie Bouchard (in picture) returns a shot to Joanne Zuger of Switzerland in Chennai Open.© AFP
Canada’s former world no.5 Eugenie Bouchard, who is on a comeback trail, began her campaign in the Chennai Open WTA 250 tennis tournament with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Joanne Zuger of Switzerland in Chennai on Monday. The 28-year old Bouchard roared to a 4-1 lead after losing her serve in the opening game of the match before letting her opponent back into the set. It was a set which saw the two players come up with some good shots and also numerous unforced errors. She allowed Zuger to hit back after taking a commanding lead.
“I lost focus after taking the lead,” she said after the match, adding that it was good to regain focus and win.
The Swiss player, ranked 167, bounced back after falling behind early, coming up with some impressive shots on her part. However, mistakes at crucial junctures pegged her back.
The former Wimbledon finalist managed to snatch the tie-break to go a set up. She had earlier saved a set point at 5-6 with a superb backhand.
In the second set, Bouchard raised her game and won it quite easily to secure her first WTA main draw victory since March 2021. She is on a comeback trail after injury.
In other matches, Katarzyna Kawa of Poland eliminated Australian Astra Sharma 6-4, 6-3 and Nao Hibino of Japan thrashed Jana Fett 6-0, 6-4 in a battle of qualifiers to advance to the round of 16.
In her best result ever, India No. 2 Karman Kaur Thandi pulled off an upset 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 8 seed Chloe Paquet of France in the first round. She held her nerve in the decider against the experienced French player to record a memorable win in front of a cheering crowd in the city’s first ever WTA tournament.
Results – Singles (1st round): Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) beat Joanne Zuger (Switzerland) 7-6, 6-2, Katarzyna Kawa (Poland) beat Astra Sharma (Australia) 6-4, 6-3; Nao Hibino (Japan) beat Jana Fett (Croatia) 6-0, 6-4; Rebecca Marino (Canada-X7) beat Anna Blinkova (Russia) 7-5, 6-2.
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