Bouchard cruises into French Open second round with win over Peer
PARIS — About the only thing getting between Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard and a berth in the second round of the French Open was the weather.
Bouchard overcame a rain interruption of nearly 90 minutes before finishing off a decisive 6-0, 6-2 win over Israel’s Shahar Peer on Tuesday.
The tournament’s 18th seed beat Peer for the second time this season and fourth in her career over 58 minutes of actual playing time.
Montreal’s Bouchard, the 20-year-old former junior Wimbledon champion, arrived to Roland Garros with her highest career WTA ranking. She moved up to 16th after winning her first WTA title on Saturday, beating Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Nuremberg clay court tournament.
“Today the court was actually a bit slower because of the conditions,” said Bouchard. “I find the courts here are generally like fast clay courts, so I like them. It’s fine for me.
“I’m confident, but I’m usually always confident and believe in myself, and know whenever I walk on the court I always believe I can win the match. But I’m just trying to take it one week at a time. Last week is last week. I have another tournament this week. That’s all I’m focused on.”
Bouchard had a 3-1 lead in the second set when the weather turned wet. She won the first seven games of the match against Peer, reaching 4-0 in 13 minutes and polishing off the opener in a brisk 27 minutes.
Peer finally won the third game of the second set but was never a threat.
When the pair returned, Bouchard extended her second-set lead to 4-1 and saved a break point for a 5-2 lead before breaking Peer in the final game to advance on a second match point.
Bouchard next plays the winner of a match between Germany’s Julia Goerges and Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.
Later Monday, Toronto native Sharon Fichman’s match against sixth seed Jelena Jankovic was suspended due to darkness. The match will resume Tuesday with Fichman leading 7-5, 1-5.
Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil was defeated in his opening match, beaten by 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 by Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili to remain winless at Roland Garros.
The 31st-ranked Canadian, whose season has been compromised by back problems, broke in the third set as his opponent served for the match. But Pospisil lost his own serve a game later and went down on a fourth match point from a backhand wide.
Pospisil ended with six aces and 27 winners but also committed 55 unforced errors as he lost in the Paris first round for a third straight year.
He admitted that he was struggling physically but did not want to go into detail. He said that his problem is “fixable” and that he has plans to play Wimbledon.
“Today was not what I wanted. I don’t want to talk about the back,” he said. “The back is much better now but there are still some demons I have to face. I wasn’t able to focus on the competition today, It a combination of a lot of things — I didn’t recognise myself on the court today, that’s the disappoinbting part.”
Officials began cancelling last matches in late afternoon, with qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., having to wait until Tuesday to play Romanian Sorana Cirstea.