US Open: Vondrousova rattles Bouchard in straight sets victory
Eugenie Bouchard’s problems came back to haunt her at the US Open. The Canadian who showed a lot of fight became vulnerable against Marketa Vondrousova who relentlessly etched out a straight-sets win 6-4, 6-3 on Court 17 to advance to the third round at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center.
The two played for the first time in what was another important match. Both needed something big in their careers to build on, and with straight-sets wins in their opening round matches, the faceoff in the second round was essential.
The 19-year-old had nothing to lose, and more to gain from playing Bouchard who wanted the best career finish to end a slam on. With that being an important task, the Canadian needed to be able to handle anyone put in front of her.
She found herself broken early by Vondrousova, quickly down two games and unable to break through the offense the young Czech had created. She made her service game of the utmost importance to avoid going down any further.
She stayed within a game of Vondrousova before breaking back on a bad return lob from the Czech teen, levelling the score at three all.
The Canadian lost her chance to hold in the seventh, earning Vondrousova a break back to put her back into the lead. Bouchard worked the ball well enough in the eighth to keep in touch with the Czech, in an effort to play every point.
As the set got closer to a conclusion, Bouchard was giving critical points away, with her being trouble by or at the net which saw the ball go there on her returns.
It at one point let out a scream from the Canadian who in was trouble of going a set down. Despite her fight in the tenth, Bouchard couldn’t overcome the problems with dealing with shots back from Vondrousova who went on to control on deuce and take the set lead after 42 minutes. The 19-year-old had an edge with the service game success that put her in a great position to conduct another round of tennis that would keep Bouchard back.
Breaking the Canadian was her first accomplishment to start the second set followed by consolidating it with a hold in the second. Bouchard got on the board in the third before fighting her way to deuce in order to get even with Vondrousova. The Czech gave herself an edge of being at the right place to deliver back the ball and earn the in that gave her a 3-1 lead. Bouchard was not out of it and proved herself with a hold in the fifth before earning a break that levelled her at three apiece with Vondrousova.
A double fault nearly killed her chance for a three-game winning streak until a lot of effort from her part made it back to deuce. It came to handling the pressure that beat her down again giving the 19-year-old the lead change. She never let go of it as Bouchard was running out of gas and ideas that allowed Vondrousova to position herself to play for it in the ninth. The 19-year-old had three match points making the third one count on a lob rally that ended with the ball flying over the head of Bouchard before landing inside to end her run in 1 hour and 25 minutes.
While it looked like a good fight between the two stars, it was a matter of control which Vondrousova more than Bouchard. She won 60 per cent from the first serve and proved her strengths near the net winning eight of ten. Bouchard had 32 errors which were the biggest problem sticking out that had her done in New York. While she prepares for the Asian tour of the season in the coming weeks. The teenager will eye a third-round matchup Saturday against Kiki Bertens.