Luxembourg Open: Bouchard goes four for four after defeating Babos
Eugenie Bouchard was on a roll full of positivity and success at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open Tuesday night. In what was considered an upset, the 24-year-old qualifier took Timea Babos down in a straight sets 6-4, 6-2 on Court 1 at the CK Sportcenter. It became the first official win for the Canadian at the tournament, helping her advance.
The Hungarian led the series 2-0 over Bouchard but had a slight disadvantage as she was making her debut. The Canadian had a three-match winning streak in qualification and looked to end the year off with a bang. Bouchard almost had a shot at a title back in Gstaad until an injury cut her down ahead of the final there.
She got the match started with a break of Babos, earning it cleanly, but faltered during her own service game. A double fault opened the door for the Hungarian to break back in the second, setting the pace. Bouchard gained a 2-1 lead earning her second break over Babos before getting control of her serve to stand at 3-1. The 25-year-old held to keep Bouchard in sight before having the deficit doubled.
During the changeover, Babos took a chat with her coach that helped her counter the returns of the Canadian and reel her back in. An error from Bouchard gave Babos another chance to level. The 24-year-old who was being challenged in the set held in the eighth, frustrating Babos on the returns. She rallied to hold serve in the ninth to get another chance at forcing Bouchard deeper in the set.
The ball was in Bouchard’s hands now and she knew that she couldn’t give up much in order to secure the set. The 24-year-old nailed a couple of winners while pressuring Babos in the rallies. When she had two set points in hand, Bouchard sent down a sliced ace to end the set in 41 minutes.
Babos tried to make good by starting with a clean slate in the second set, holding her serve but her problems made it easy for Bouchard to conduct an easy service game in the second. Babos struggled on serve in the third handing the 24-year-old a break which forced her to call out her coach who told her what she had to do to make her adversary struggle. She attacked the serve of Bouchard, earning three break points and held on to one of them to level the score.
The Canadian broke back to regain the lead and opened the door to increase the margin. She cemented the break with a service hold in the sixth. It was all downhill for the 25-year-old from there as she blew her service game in the seventh placing Bouchard in position to win her fourth match in a row.
Babos erred on two returns while the 24-year-old stayed calm and focused. She gained three match points and the win came from a final from Babos on the second serve, ending the match in 1 hour and 12 minutes.
Bouchard has the chance to go five straight if she gets past Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday.