Eugenie Bouchard had a fantastic day and moved on to the next round at the Australian Open on Tuesday. The 24-year-old who started the year well earned a great win over Shuai Peng 6-2, 6-1 at 1573 Arena on the grounds of Melbourne Park.
The two battled for the second time at Melbourne Park where the Canadian earned her second victory over Peng in straight sets two years ago.
With major improvements to her core mentality and physical strength, Bouchard with the coaching from Michael Joyce eyed a serious journey through the tournament.
Peng would have been hungry for a win after failing to get one in Shenzhen. In her 14th consecutive appearance in the main draw, the 33-year-old Chinese veteran eyed getting the best of the popular Canadian and hunt down another round of 16 like she did in 2015.
Bouchard had other plans and made them count to start the opening set with a hold of serve. She broke Peng to love in the second, digging in to find the way of holding Peng back. She got up to a 4-0 run before the Chinese player found her serve in the fifth where she successfully blanked the Canadian. She threatened Bouchard for the break in game six but a smashed ace gave the 24-year-old control back to stand with a 5-1 score.
She had Peng in a tight spot but the 33-year-old started to feel her serve come together which in turn gave her another hold of serve. Though it was good to have her offense come alive, it was too little too late as Bouchard closed out a well-played set in 28 minutes controlling the second serve at 70 percent.
She went into the second stanza getting her grip against Peng who didn’t have a lot of confidence running her way.
It led to the early break for Bouchard who hit all the right marks on response during the returns. The 24-year old’s offense was too much for the tennis veteran who still couldn’t find her strength.
It was quickly 3-0 in favor of Bouchard who inched closer to making a great statement. Peng once again scored a game that shut down Bouchard but it was a small response to her opponent’s.
Bouchard kept the attack against Peng’s defensive game that was almost inexistent. She suffered a double break to the 24-year-old who sat two away from a second round advance. Though she rushed the match along, the Canadian didn’t loosen up much as she continued to increase the number of winners that kept her on the path.
She held in the sixth, forcing Peng to serve out the seventh with the match on the line. Despite the errors, Peng tried holding on to her serve but some aggression from Bouchard helped her force deuce.
She reached match point twice where a long rally ended with her delivering a final crosscourt to end things in 60 minutes.
Bouchard won 16 of 21 from the first serve and only have one double fault through the 15 games played.
Her 15 winners played a supporting role in her getting into the second round. She’ll face Serena Williams who also had an easy win in her opening round.