Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bouchard Impressive, Andreescu Injured as Canada Splits Fed Cup Openers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bouchard Impressive, Andreescu Injured as Canada Splits Fed Cup Openers

Article excerpt

Bouchard wins, Andreescu injured at Fed Cup


MONTREAL - Playing at home and being back with Canada's Fed Cup team had Eugenie Bouchard looking like her old dominant self again.

The Westmount, Que., native, aiming to regain the form that once put her among the world's best players, defeated Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-2, 7-5 in World Group II action Saturday.

The victory tied the best-of-five series 1-1, heading into two singles and a doubles match Sunday.

"This was one my best matches of the year," Bouchard said. "The loud support of the crowd definitely helped me."

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., playing in place of the injured Francoise Abanda, was unable to finish the opening singles match when she dropped to the court with painful leg cramps and had to retire while trailing 4-6, 6-4, 4-0 to Lesia Tsurenko.

The spectators packing the grandstands at the temporary 1,800-seat indoor venue at IGA Stadium let out roars as Bouchard controlled her match early against 78th-ranked Bondarenko and fought through rough patches in the second set.

The 24-year-old, who reached a career high of fifth in WTA rankings after making the Wimbledon final in 2014, has plunged to 117th following some difficult seasons. She returned to Fed Cup play after a two-year absence looking to get some matches in after starting this season 4-6 in singles.

Bouchard took the last four games of a one-sided first set, but went down a break in the second. Bouchard fought back, then wasted three break points only to see Bondarenko double fault the next two points to give the hometown favourite a 4-3 lead.

She broke service again for a 6-5 lead before serving out the match.

Bouchard said she hurt her hand at the start of the match but hopes to be OK for Sunday.

"I saw the doctor before coming up to my press conference and I will see him again later," she said.

Bndarenko double faulted 13 times, but said that was mostly because of how well Bouchard was returning serves. …

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