PARIS — After several rough years, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard is enjoying a September surge.
Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., advanced to the third round of the French Open with 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over Australia’s Daria Gavrilova on Wednesday.
It will mark Bouchard’s first appearance in the third round of a Grand Slam since the world’s 168th-ranked player won two matches at the 2017 Australian Open.
A former world No. 5 after reaching the Wimbledon final in 2014, Bouchard’s ranking has tumbled in recent years, falling below No. 300 at one point. But she has made some strides in recent months, reaching the final of a clay-court event in Istanbul before being awarded a wild-card into the French Open.
“I think I’ve had tough moments, for sure. I think deep down, you know, still believing in myself no matter what, knowing my skill can’t just go away, knowing that I’ve achieved success before,” Bouchard said. “It’s just something that I’ll always have, reinforces my belief. That’s what I use when I need to work hard, when times are tough.
“I have especially done that I think in the past year or so. Proud of this constant work really.”
Gavrilova, playing just her second tournament this year after returning from a foot injury, rallied from a deficit to win the first set before Bouchard responded.
“The fact I was able to bounce back is something I’m super proud of. (It) is a testament to the mental strength I’ve been working on,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard will face world No. 54 Iga Swiatek, a 19-year-old from Poland, in the third round.
Meanwhile, in women’s doubles first-round play, the fifth-seeded team of Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia beat Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan and Arina Rodionova of Australia 7-5, 6-3.
Leylah Annie Fernandez of Laval, Que., and partner Diane Parry of France lost 6-2, 6-4 to Nina Stojanovic of Serbia and Jill Teichmann of Switzerland.
Fernandez also has advanced to the second round in women’s singles, along with No. 9 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., on the men’s side.
Fernandez faces Polona Hercog of Slovenia on Thursday, while Shapovalov meets Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.
The Canadian Press