Montreal (Canada): Homegrown hero Eugenie Bouchard reached the second round of the WTA hardcourt tournament in Montreal with a dramatic three-set victory Tuesday, lending a little star-power as the event lost French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.
In her past two appearances at her home event, Bouchard had failed to win a match. But this time she gave fans what they wanted to see with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Czech Lucie Safarova.
Afer dominating the first set, she made a sluggish start to the second and Safarova took advantage to force a third frame. Bouchard was unable to convert three match points at 6-5 in the third, but after Safarova forced the tiebreaker the Canadian roared back from a 3-1 deficit to seize the victory.
“The crowd was incredible,” said Bouchard, who begged off a longer post-match press conference pleading a stomach ache. That was after Spain’s Muguruza, the world number three and third seed, pulled out of her opening match complaining of gastrointestinal illness minutes before she was to take on Britain’s Naomi Broady.
It was another high-profile defection after world number one Serena Williams withdrew with inflammation in her shoulder over the weekend. Although it was a second-round match, Muguruza enjoyed a first-round bye. Organizers filled her place in the draw with lucky loser Varvara Lepchenko of the United States, who defeated Broady 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In the only other second-round match of the day, fifth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep defeated Australian Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-3. Halep and Gavrilova had split their last two meetings. But Halep was in control throughout, never facing a break point in the first set.