Australian Open

Bouchard to refocus after Melbourne mauling

2015-01-27 10:38
Eugenie Bouchard (AFP)

Melbourne - Eugenie Bouchard was unable to match the semi-final appearance from her maiden Australian Open last year and will now focus on sorting out her coaching arrangements after being blasted off the court by Maria Sharapova on Tuesday.

The Canadian prospect was served another dose of grand slam heartbreak by the powerful Russian and headed quickly for the exit at Rod Laver Arena after losing 6-3 6-2 in a thoroughly one-sided quarter-final.

Bouchard split with coach Nick Saviano in November, the man who guided her through her breakthrough season in 2014 and a maiden grand slam final for Canada at Wimbledon.

The reason for the surprise split remains unclear but Bouchard worked with Diego Ayala, a coach from her junior days and a previous mentor to former world number one Jelena Jankovic, during the Australian Open.

"That's something I'm going to focus on now," Bouchard told reporters. "I'm happy with the team I had here. I think we did okay, but it's something I need to adjust.

"Now that the tournament's over for me, I'm going to look at these decisions and see if I need to make one or not."

The 20-year-old said before her quarter-final that she was looking for an established player who had been to the top, raising speculation of another 'super-coach' appointment in the women's game.

However, she also said she was confident enough in her own game to deal with any problems she encountered on court without a full-time coach in the player's box.

Against Sharapova, she seemed anything but prepared to handle the fierce assault the Russian doled out from the baseline and on her serve.

Bouchard said she had gleaned a lot from last year's French Open semi-final disappointment, where she was overhauled in three sets by Sharapova, but on the strength of Tuesday's match, the wily Russian had learned far more about the Canadian.

For all the trips to the second weeks of the majors, Bouchard now holds a damning 1-9 record against top-five players at the premier tournaments with Sharapova beating her in all three of their grand slam encounters.

Bouchard will now head back home to Canada to visit her family before rejoining the tour.

"I'm never happy with losing. I wanted to obviously win today, win the tournament," she said. "But I feel like I dealt with pressure, outside expectations well."

Read more on:    australian open  |  eugenie bouchard  |  tennis


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