WTA starlet Genie Bouchard’s first tour-level appearance as a top seed fell flat as the Canadian was bounced out of Antwerp in her opening round by Mona Barthel 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
“It’s always tough to play against Genie. She plays so well, you really have to play your best,” Barthel said afterwards. “But today I was able to play my game, play aggressive and come into the net. At the end I had some nerves, but I’m happy I could play well to finish it. It’s a great win for me.”
Bouchard made three Grand Slam semifinals last year, but since her Wimbledon runner-up appearance, the 20-year-old has just a 13-11 record. She was also making her debut with Victoria Azarenka’s ex-coach Sam Sumyk.
Before her loss, the tournament, run by former No. 1 Kim Clijsters, was able to use Bouchard for a fashion show catwalk promotion.
— Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) February 10, 2015
Earlier in the day No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber was crushed by former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-1.
“For me it was a great match because I was able to play the tactics I wanted to play,” said Schiavone who snapped a 17-match losing streak to Top 10 players. “I knew it would be a good opportunity for me today, and I’m happy with the way I played.”
With the top two seeds out, No. 3 Andrea Petkovic and No. 4 Lucia Safarova are the highest remaining players.
In Rotterdam, former champion Andy Murray continued his quest for a second title there, beating Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 7-5.
“Obviously, the second set was a lot of momentum swings,” said Murray. “I went up a break, was feeling good, but then I lost my serve to love in the next game. In the game after that I got broken to 15. Obviously, when he was serving for it he was in a great position. But we had a 30-shot rally on set point. It was a very physical rally, I was making him do more of the running and I think it took quite a lot out of him.
“My level was good. I moved well and I felt like when I really needed to, I was able to improve my level and step my game up a bit. I found a little bit of extra intensity in the important moments and that was key.”
Murray will now meet Frenchman Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals Friday.
Big servers Tomas Berdych and Milos also advanced, as did Stan Wawrinka who needed three sets to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Tomorrow Berdcyh faces Gael Monfils, Wawrinka takes on Gilles Muller and Raonic clashes with Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Three winners are already through in Memphis with Donald Young (d. Kudla), Steve Johnson (d. Brown) and Bernard Tomic (d. Dolgopolov) reaching the quarterfinals.
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