Eugenie Bouchard took more than a stumble at the Citi Open this Monday night. The response on the ball was lacking and the energy was low which gave Lauren Davis the power to do it all on center court. The American took the 25-year-old down quickly with a 6-1, 6-2 scoreline at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Stadium.
This was the fourth chapter between two struggling players. Both lost in the early rounds at Wimbledon and moved to hard court action soon after. Bouchard earned her way into the main draw and was looking for a third victory with both of her other wins coming in straight sets. She eyed a way to stay focused and start the tournament right.
Bouchard gained three break points on Davis’ first serve but the latter's ability to re-engage allowed her to recover lost ground and force a deuce. Davis went on to smash better and clinch the victory after two breaks. The 25-year-old consolidated the opening hold with a break and comfortably marched to a 5-0 run. The sluggish Canadian somehow found a way to get herself on the board in the sixth with a serve to love. While she avoided the shutout, Davis reached three set points quickly on serve to take the first in 26 minutes.
Bouchard underperformed on the first serve and did very little with the second serve. Davis ravaged her return game and the American was in complete control. The Canadian took a coaching call. Michael Joyce tried to keep a two-way conversation with her saying that her attitude was good but that she needed a stronger response on the court.
It didn’t help much as Davis took the jump in the second set opening a three-game winning streak. She made it four with her first serve to love that saw Bouchard struggling to get to the ball. The latter answered back with a serve to love as well to notch her first but she was steps from exiting the tournament. With another service hold, the pressure was on Bouchard to defend her end by any means. Despite going to deuce, a better second serve helped her lock down a second win in the set.
As the ball went back in the hands of Davis, the 25-year-old conducted a sharp service game and blanked Bouchard with a net-front smash that ended the night in one hour. The American was near perfect on the second serve scoring 7 of 8 and 11 of 15 from the first serve. With such a great response during the night-time humid conditions, Davis has a chance of doing great things when she next faces Sofia Kenin in the second round.Published 30 Jul 2019, 09:24 IST