Eugenie Bouchard made her first round match against Vera Lapko more than count at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships Sunday night. The Canadian struggled at times but found ways of being the frontrunner against Lapko, who went down in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium.
The Canadian found herself in the main draw in Dubai for the first time and after losing during qualification at Doha, looked to make a deep run in the premier five tournament.
Bouchard was the first to break ahead, converting her second break point. She consolidated it with a hold in the second game before the Belarusian responded. However, Bouchard remained in firm control to race away to a 3-1 lead with a hold to love. Lapko wrested a break back, but Bouchard broke again to get back out front.
Both Bouchard and Lapko then called down their respective coaches to strategize for the remainder of the set. Bouchard made her serve count in the eighth game and then broke her opponent again to clinch the set in 35 minutes.
The Canadian called down her coach Michael Joyce again, who told her some things that he saw that could allow her to improve in the second set, whilst expressing his pleasure with her performance in the opening set.
The two players traded breaks to open the second set, matching each other shot for shot.
Bouchard then made her move in the sixth game, forcing break points yet again. Lapko managed to save three of them, but the Canadian was successful on her fourth attempt to go up 4-2. A key hold of serve in the seventh game earned the Canadian a shot at the match with Lapko running out of options. The Belarusian saved a match point to forcing Bouchard to serve it out; something she failed to do as she conceded the break back.
A nervous Bouchard then called her coach out to the court again and Joyce advised her to stay active and keep swinging while giving her opponent a different look on the first serve. That advice did the trick as the Canadian summoned enough energy to pull off another break of serve, securing the win in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bouchard next faces Simona Halep in the second round.
2019 WTA Dubai Tennis Championships News, Schedule, Results, Updates and more on SportskeedaPublished 18 Feb 2019, 01:09 IST