US Open: Eugenie Bouchard hands first-timer a loss in straight sets
Eugenie Bouchard earned a break to get the first round done and dusted at the US Open Tuesday night. The 24-year-old Canadian handled newcomer Harmony Tan of France who fell under pressure in a 6-3, 6-1 straight sets result on Court 12 at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center.
Bouchard’s offense was well-rounded to earn a victory that put her back into the second round for the first time in three years.
The Canadian made the main draw by the skin of her teeth last week that made this her sixth appearance in the grand slam. It’s been three years since her strong fourth round finish where she was last the strongest.
Her spirit remains high as a player who fights with everything she has when she is on her game. That would be determined against the French star who she has never faced before.
Tan made her debut against the popular Canadian in what would be a battle of her nerves and against a player who has strengths and weaknesses. In her first ever main draw appearance in any slam, the 20-year-old would be on the biggest stage of her career in hopes to perform at her best.
She gave Bouchard a challenge in the opening game forcing her way to deuce. She nearly had a hold of serve in play but lost control to the Canadian who got the break she wanted. A hold made it 2-0 for the 24-year-old but she would need to make Tan fumble on the returns.
Tan wouldn’t let another get away from her on serve and locked the win down. She followed Bouchard to serve but was a game down each time leading up to the eighth. With Bouchard up 5-3, she went all in to force deuce against Tan and bring home the first set in 36 minutes.
The Canadian had 80 percent of points won on the first serve showing her comfort of play a lower ranked opponent who was making her mark in the main draw.
The notion of her being in control led to further consistency of the first serve. She soon broke Tan in the fourth giving herself a two-game gap as the sun set and the lights came on. With the temperature lightening up, Bouchard continued to keep Tan at bay holding in the fifth where she allowed the French player a single point.
It was the 11th of the set while the Canadian nearly had double that. The 24-year-old inched closer to the second round due to Tan’s errors off the forehand that got Bouchard to deuce.
After four breaks where she either hit the ball into the net or put too much on it, she allowed Tan to make the mistake that gave her a 5-1 stance to serve for the match. She delivered big on bringing the victory gaining three match points to win it on the second try ending one hour and seven minutes on the court.
With one out of the way, the popular star on the WTA tour will play Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic on Thursday.