Wimbledon: Bouchard keeps Taylor back in three set win
Eugenie Bouchard got the win she wanted so much to start her run at the championships at Wimbledon Tuesday. The Canadian came through holding off a fight in the second set against to keep Gabriella Taylor back in the decider winning 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 on Court 14 at the All England Tennis Club in London.
The Canadian entered her sixth start at the AEC looking to get beyond her dismal first-round loss in 2017. The 2014 finalist at Wimbledon hasn’t been the same searching for the moment where her skills would pay off. She had never faced Taylor before but would have the cards stacked against her as every Brit in the draw was playing the favorite. It was the 20-year old’s debut hoping to have a strong result against a popular player on the WTA tour.
She couldn’t find her way into the set as Bouchard was on a mission to get ahead of the competition by any means. The Canadian opened with a hold followed by a break of the British rookie in the second game. Bouchard never let her in as the service game was on lock and kept the focus on making it a tough day for Taylor. She watched as the 24-year-old coasted to a shutout in the set that was done in 20 minutes. Bouchard had 88 percent of her first serve shots score while nailing an ace and 13 winners. Those were the dominating factors that allowed Bouchard some breathing room to play with what she had built up going forward.
She continued holding her own end but let up just enough to allow Taylor into the match for the first time. She consolidated with a second win but was still a game down after five. She leveled the score at three all on serve, taking the positive strength she put together against Bouchard. A second break was her key to lead in the seventh keeping the pressure on while she had plenty of it to run for a chance at a decider.
Bouchard got a break to stay leveled with Taylor through eight, but the Brit was on a run of her own as she broke the Canadian before taking the set 6-4 after 32 minutes. She had seven winners and nine unreturned serves that increased the first serve percentage. It took a toll on Bouchard’s confidence as she once again blew a commanding lead and fought to stay alive.
With the third all that was left in the match, the 24-year-old took a stance to control the energy in the set winning her opening service game. Getting a break didn’t come easy as it took six breaks on deuce to get a 2-0 lead over Taylor. The breakdown of the Brit was working for her as she made it three games in a row hunting for the double break. Bouchard couldn’t get it don’t but held in the fourth to keep herself ahead.
She gained a second break in the fifth taking a 4-1 lead carrying the momentum to set up a break point chance. Before she could do that, the 20-year-old rallied back from 0-40 down to force deuce but missed the AD point that would save her. She somehow gained a second chance to lock down her second victory in the final set. Bouchard inched closer to her goal holding together in the seventh that gave her a shot at the match against Taylor’s serve. The Brit had a slip after the third point of the game but gave a sigh of relief as she was okay.
After holding off the Canadian for just one more game, she signaled the umpire for the trainer but knew she would have to wait for a changeover or a completion of the match. Bouchard set herself up with three match points playing the last one with rough hits to get her through to the second round after 1 hour and 37 minutes.
The Canadian finished winning 28 of 39 on the first serve and 16 of 24 from the second. With a short number of errors and just one double fault throughout, the former finalist of the tournament had truly shown improvements. She’ll try to smooth out the issues in her opening round match when she pits against grass court specialist Ashleigh Barty in the second round Thursday.