Fixture: (25) Eugenie Bouchard vs Yue Yuan
Date: 12 January 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021 qualifiers
Round: Second round
Venue: Dubai, UAE
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Eugenie Bouchard vs Yue Yuan preview
It's been a wild ride for Eugenie Bouchard on the professional tennis circuit ever since she turned pro in 2009.
The Canadian was a Wimbledon finalist, a semifinalist at two of the other Majors and a member of top 5 club all before she was 21. But by the time she was 25 Bouchard had dropped out of the top 200, leaving her fans wondering if she would ever return to the higher echelons of the sport.
Many other tennis stars who achieved fame and success at an early age have hung up their rackets after not being able to recapture their previous highs. But Bouchard has kept grinding her way through the lower tier of the pro circuit, fighting her way from outside the top 300 in August 2020 to her current position of No. 141.
Her recent surge in the rankings has been no stroke of luck either. The Canadian worked hard through the 2020 shutdown with Gil Reyes, the trainer who revived Andre Agassi's career.
Reyes swears by the work ethic of Bouchard, who also spent some time with Agassi and Steffi Graf in Vegas. That's no small compliment coming from a man who has very high standards for his students.
Bouchard's opponent on Tuesday is the little-known Chinese player Yue Yuan, who peaked at No. 205 in the rankings last February and is currently placed at No. 230.
Yuan has been competing mostly on the ITF Pro Circuit, with one ITF title to her credit. However, she has not played on the tour since February 2020.
Eugenie Bouchard vs Yue Yuan head-to-head
Eugenie Bouchard and Yue Yuan have not played on the WTA tour, and so their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Eugenie Bouchard vs Yue Yuan prediction
Things seem to finally be looking up once again for the 26-year-old Eugenie Bouchard. While she's still a long way from her peak 2014 form, the Canadian is too talented a player to be ranked outside the top 100 forever.
Bouchard scored a 6-2, 6-3 win over Australian Abbie Myers in her first round match in Dubai. Yue Yuan, meanwhile, scored a straight sets win over Poland's Maja Chwalińska.
A loss in the final round of qualifying last year ended a streak of six consecutive appearances in the Australian Open main draw for Bouchard. But with her renewed focus on fitness, the Canadian will look to play a high-percentage game against Yuan and inch closer to moving back into the Australian Open main draw.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to win in straight sets.Published 11 Jan 2021, 21:06 IST