WTA Tour

Bouchard in spotlight as Muguruza withdraws

2016-07-27 07:19
Garbine Muguruza

Montreal - Homegrown hero Eugenie Bouchard reached the second round of the WTA hard-court 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 per past two appearances at her home event, Bouchard had failed to win a match.

But 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.

"I'm pretty disappointed, I practiced a lot for this tournament," Muguruza said. "Since yesterday, I have kind of been feeling weird and I spoke with the doctor and everything. I thought today I was going to feel better, but in the last moment I didn't feel good enough to go on court and give my best."

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, coming off her second title of the season at home in Bucharest, was in control throughout, never facing a break point in the first set and shaking off an early tremor in the second to win in 86 minutes.

"She's a very strong player," Halep, a former French Open champion, said.

"I played her on the clay courts in Rome, she beat me there, and I knew how to play today."

Britain's Johanna Konta, less than 48 hours removed from lifting her first WTA title with an upset of Venus Williams in Stanford on Sunday, reached the second round with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Shelby Rogers.

Konta, who moved up from 18th to 14th in the world on the strength of her Stanford run and is now knocking on the door of the top 10.

Results on Tuesday at the WTA hardcourt tournament in Montreal (x-denotes seeded player):

2nd rd

Simona Halep (ROM x5) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 6-2, 6-3

Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Naomi Broady (GBR) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

1st rd

Vania King (USA) bt Tmea Babos (HUN) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5)

Johanna Konta (GBR x15) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-4, 6-2

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x11) bt Mariana Duque (COL) 6-2, 6-2

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3)

Kristna Kucova (SVK) bt Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3

Monica Niculescu (ROM) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1

Christina McHale (USA) bt Zhang Shuai (CHN) 6-2, 3-0 retired

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x16) bt Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5

Madison Keys (USA x10) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-4, 6-0

Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-3

Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x14) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5

Sara Errani (ITA) bt Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

Francoise Abanda (CAN) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-1, 7-5

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