Eugenie Bouchard wins second straight match, Alize Cornet advances at Gstaad
Eugenie Bouchard took another positive step in the right direction at the Swiss Open Thursday. Despite a tough fight from Viktorija Golubic, the 24-year-old Canadian had just enough to get into the quarterfinals, winning 7-6(2), 7-6(7) at the Roy Emerson Arena. Alize Cornet had a relatively easier time of it as she recorded a straight sets win over Conny Perrin, with the scoreline reading 6-3, 6-3.
Bouchard started out slow in the match, as Golubic kept attacking the Canadian's sluggish first serve returns. They were neck and neck throughout the the first set, ultimately forcing a tiebreak.
But Bouchard's push for control worked out as she allowed Golubic just two points in the breaker before wrapping up the set in 62 minutes.
Golubic didn't let being a set down bother her as her first serve remained steady, keeping Bouchard within reach. They traded breaks, with the Canadian earning free points along the way due to Golubic's struggles while returning - especially the second serve.
While the Swiss player didn't produce the six double faults she had in the opening set, her return game suffered, making it easy for Bouchard to stay out front more often.
But that wasn’t enough for her to run off with a cleaner win in the set, and Bouchard found herself playing a tiebreak again. Golubic knew that she couldn’t let the last result occur again bringing as she tried everything to attack Bouchard and force a decider.
The players surpassed the seven points usually required but as they went into overtime, Bouchard caught a break to take an 8-7 lead for match point. The popular star earned the victory on a Golubic forehand error to bring her tournament to a close after two hours and six minutes.
Cornet was luckier to have someone she had faced once before; moreover, she was back on a comfortable surface. She kept her first serve in check from start to finish but didn't have it easy all the way through.
Perrin kept in touch with the French star through six games before Cornet bolted out to a lead from which she never looked back. The first serve was on fire for the 28-year-old as she dictated to end the first set in 31 minutes.
The second moved a little quicker as Cornet rode her momentum to gain a double break. The Swiss hopeful tried to claw her way back by winning two consecutive games, but she was held back long enough for Cornet to get the match under her belt.
Perrin's offense slid down as the match wore on, as she won less than 50% of the points on her first serve. While she managed to avoid handing Cornet the match on a break, she couldn’t reel her in completely as the French veteran took care of her serve in the 10th game to secure her place in the quarterfinals after 64 minutes.
While both Bouchard and Cornet got through to the final eight, it is clear that Cornet has been more focused while Bouchard needs to find some clarity and composure in her gameplay. The Canadian will now prepare for her match against a second qualifier in Veronika Kudermetova while Cornet awaits the winner between veterans Patty Schnyder of Switzerland and Samantha Stosur of Australia.