PRAGUE, Czech Republic— Eugenie Bouchard may be preparing to relaunch her career, judging by her recent successes on clay.
Bouchard defeated Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek 7-6 (2), 6-7 (2) and 6-2 in the round of 16 at the Prague Tennis Omnium on Thursday.
The Westmount player knocked out an impressive total of six aces, and she was very opportunistic as she converted five of her nine bullets in the game that went on for two hours and 52 minutes. After the match, Bouchard seemed satisfied with his performance despite a few empty passes.
“I felt good, but I felt like my game wasn’t constant,” she said after the meeting. My opponent had a style of play that suited the clay perfectly, with very high balls and very good straight shots, but I recovered and finished the game well in the third set. ”
The 26-year-old Quebecer, however, committed four double fouls, against only one for her 72nd-ranked opponent in the world.
This was their second career duel, after the Slovenian won 6-3, 5-7 and 8-6 in the first round at Wimbledon in 2019. Asked if that duel had stayed in her mind, Bouchard assured that it was nothing.
“No, I didn’t think about it,” she said bluntly. It’s very different; the surface wasn’t the same (as it was at Wimbledon) and we’re a year later. I really try to turn the page on each of my games, not keep that in mind. It’s another day, another game, and anything can happen. ”
The Montrealer also admitted that the atmosphere during in-camera games is very different from the one the players faced before the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve been training for months, so I really feel like it’s the same thing as a workout, or at least it looks like a friendly,” she said. Obviously, it’s different, because there’s an umpire and bullet hunters, but the advantage is that you hear your coach’s advice a lot more. But I get bored of the spectators, of my loved ones who were watching the games, even though I know they’re watching me on TV somewhere on the planet. ”
Bouchard, who is currently ranked 330th in the world but is trying to move up in the standings.
Will face Belgian Elise Mertens, the third seed in the tournament, in the quarterfinals.
“I haven’t thought about it yet; I focused on my game today, Bouchard admitted about his next opponent. I’m probably going to talk about it with my coach at dinner tonight. She (Mertens) is a very good player, and her ranking is no coincidence.
“I will obviously be the neglected one, but I will give my all to try to defeat her,” she added.
If she bows to Mertens, Bouchard will still climb 272nd. But if she were to win the tournament, she would break the top-200 again. Thus, in light of his recent results, Bouchard is optimistic about the rest of his career.
“I don’t have timelines (to get back to the top of the rankings), because there are too many variables,” she said. But I no longer want to know sawtooth sequences; my job is to go there one day at a time and build on it. ”
Meanwhile, favorite Simona Halep overcame a one-set deficit to eliminate Barbora Krejcikova 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Pulling from the back 2-0 in the final inning, Halep won the next six games.
Halep resorted to a medical downtime in the second set for right shoulder pain and needed more treatment in the third.
“I was able to serve a little stronger afterwards. I needed it and I’m glad it worked, ”Halep said.
Halep will face qualifying draft Magdalena Frech. The 174th-ranked Pole defeated Arantxa Rus 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to play her first quarterfinal of her career.
Sara Sorribes Tormo easily defeated Laura Siegemund 6-2, 6-3. She will face the winner of the duel between Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu and Swiss Leonie Kung, who will suspend after Kung won the initial inning 7-6 (3).