Australian Open

Motivated Bouchard romps into second round

2017-01-16 15:24
Eugenie Bouchard (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard continued her promising start to the season with an impressive first-round rout at the Australian Open on Monday, saying she has rediscovered her motivation.

The 22-year-old, on the comeback trail after her high-flying career plunged into a tailspin, raced past American Louisa Chirico 6-0, 6-4 to set up a clash with China's Peng Shuai.

Now 49 in the world, she reached her first semi-final for 10 months at the Sydney International last week and carried the form to Melbourne Park.

"I've really worked hard in the off-season and found my motivation," she said. "I'm feeling very energetic on court and I really want to keep going."

Bouchard became one of the most bankable assets in women's tennis in 2014 when she stormed to the Wimbledon final as well as the semis of the Australian and French Opens.

But the confident star then saw her career nosedive in 2015 and her ranking slump.

Despite her stuttering recent form, she remains one of the most marketable players on tour and said last week that she has learnt to take no notice of the "haters".

Despite her match against Chirico not starting until 11pm, Bouchard was unfazed and quickly stamped her mark on the contest.

She comfortably held serve and raced to a triple break to ram home her superiority against a young player making her Australian Open debut, polishing off the first set in just 18 minutes.

It was an embarrassingly one-sided match with 65th-ranked Chirico struggling with her return of serve and managing just 10 points in the whole set.

The 20-year-old finally managed to get on the scoreboard by holding serve to go 1-0 up in the second set as she successfully avoided the dreaded 6-0, 6-0 'double bagel'.

Bouchard turned the screw to go 4-1 ahead.

But the plucky American stunned her with a break and held serve to make it 3-4 before the Canadian recovered from her stumble to secure a comfortable victory.


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