Eugenie Bouchard didn’t have the strength to match her opponent at the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tuesday. The Canadian had trouble from start to finish against the hard-hitting Alison Riske who took the first round win in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 on Dome Court at Arena Tachikawa Tachihi.
A seventh edition between the two comes three years since their meeting at the US Open. The Canadian took down Riske in her third straight-sets win and the fifth match win since 2011. Both didn’t do well in New York three weeks ago and at Hiroshima last week. They took care of things in qualifications making each of them focused to make good on the opening round. While it looked good for Bouchard to have the upper hand, it would be up to the 24 year old to act well in the opening games.
They held serve against one another through four games before Riske took an opportunity and went for the break in the fifth. Bouchard forced deuce to stay in contention to hold her own which took her three breaks to complete the hold. They remained deadlocked until Riske found a way to break ahead successfully gaining a 5-4 lead. With the chance to serve for it, the American kept her hard hits together and sealed the victory that gave her a leg up on Bouchard after 43 minutes. Riske scored 86 percent on points from the first serve with 78 percent overall performance.
Bouchard knew she couldn’t let up because of lost ground and made a big statement scoring a hold of serve to begin the second set. She consolidated it with a break of the 28 year old to lead two games to love with the pace going strong. The Canadian faltered in the third where she committed a double fault that allowed Riske to break on the board. She held in the fourth to square things with Bouchard leaving no major room for her opponent to dictate.
A third win in a row came for the 28-year-old as Bouchard once again double-faulted on break point. It was becoming a one way trip for Riske who gained a fourth on serve that had her inching closer to a straight sets win. Bouchard wouldn’t let another service game get away from her and made the seventh count to her name ending the American’s winning streak.
Trying with all her might to convert a break wasn’t coming in the cards for Bouchard who was behind on the score with Riske getting the win on a long unforced error. She found herself serving to stay in the contest, double faulting but saving it with an ace. It was in the hands of Riske to get the match done herself in the tenth getting two match points where another long ball from the Canadian ended her tournament in 1 hour and 23 minutes. The American finished with 25 of 32 points won on the first serve and 13 of 21 indicating an all-around finish to her day.
She would do more to prepare for her second-round matchup facing Spain’s Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday.