Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bouchard Beats Safarova in Three-Set Thriller at Women's Rogers Cup

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bouchard Beats Safarova in Three-Set Thriller at Women's Rogers Cup

Article excerpt

Bouchard wins thriller at Rogers Cup


MONTREAL - Eugenie Bouchard reconnected with her hometown fans with an impressive first-round victory at the US$2.4 million women's Rogers Cup, but now there is concern for her health.

Coach Nick Saviano said Bouchard was fine as she upset Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3), but stuggled through a stomach problem while she and partner Carol Zhao lost in straight sets in doubles.

Bouchard was unable to attend the usual post-match meeting with the media. Saviano and Federation Cup captain Sylvain Bruneau appeared instead.

"She came off the court and she was in a lot of discomfort with her stomach," said Saviano. "We know it's not serious, but she's very uncomfortable now.

"She should be fine for (Wednesday). The objective is to make sure she has every chance to compete at 100 per cent and we're very confident that will happen."

Bouchard is to face ninth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Mariana Duque-Marino, in a night match in the second round on Wednesday.

She was the second player to be hit with a similar problem on the day, as third-seeded Garbine Muguruza withdrew with a digestive problem. Savarino said it was not certain if the two cases were linked or even the same.

A large crowd at Uniprix Stadium was solidly behind the Westmount, Que., native throughout her 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3) win over Lucie Safarova, the pre-match favourite ranked 28th in the world to Bouchard's 41st.

They roared as Bouchard came back from a 3-1 deficit in the tiebreaker with six straight points, taking the win on Safarova's 10th double fault of the match.

Her public image has taken a hit of late.

Three local newspaper columnists had criticized Bouchard in recent days, mostly to do with losing touch with her home fan base since her spectacular 2014 season when she reached the Wimbledon final and rose to No. 5 in the world.

It did not go over well last week when, after losing her first match in Washington, D.C., she talked about visiting museums in the U.S. capital rather then go home to the "craziness" in Montreal.

Bouchard clearly had a change of heart because she not only headed north right away, but participated in off-court events with fans and ended uncertainty over her Olympic plans by saying she will represent Canada at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Then she pulled off a thrilling and unexpected win on centre court.

Bouchard dominated the opening set, completing her second service break with a pinpoint backhand down the line, only to see Safarova find her service range and turn the tables in the second.

They held serve through the third, although Bouchard let three match points slip away while leading 6-5, 40-0, giving Safarova momentum going into the tiebreaker.

It did not go so well for Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que. …

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