Top seed Dominika Cibulkova is through to the semi-finals of the WTA Abierto Mexicano TELCEL Open but second seed Eugenie Bouchard was beaten in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Cibulkova, the Australian Open finalist, was a 6-4, 7-5 winner over Kiwi Marina Erakovic in the hardcourt tournament while Bouchard, who made the Australian Open semi-finals, was knocked out by French 20-year-old Caroline Garcia 6-3, 4-6, 1-6. Garcia is currently ranked no. 89 in the world.
Also advancing into the last four were American Christina McHale and eighth seeded Shuai Zhang, of China. McHale upset the no. 3 seed Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 while Zhang ended the run of Croatian 20-year-old Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.
@geniebouchard Thank you for all the birthday messages and love. #happy
Tennis' new It-Girl Eugenie Bouchard did not suffer from any post-Australian Open blues as she scored an easy win in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Friday.
Seeded no. 18, Bouchard is playing her first big event since her breakthrough in Melbourne and showed no signs of the burden of expectations being showered upon her as she lost only three points on her first serve in a 6-2, 6-2 win over China's Shuai Peng. She will next meet ninth seed Sara Errani.
Hey guys, @geniebouchard here. I'm on my way to the @canadiensmtl vs @lakings game #WTAinsider
Speaking after her win, Bouchard commented, "My goal was to be really aggressive, and I knew I could do it on her serve as well. I wanted to do it right from the beginning. I'm happy I was able to continue that way as well. [Against Errani], I’m going to try to be aggressive and move in and finish the points. I tried to do that a few times today.”
Eugenie Bouchard won five of the last six games to upset Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the Family Circle Cup quarterfinals Friday.
The 20-year-old Canadian beat the second-seeded Jankovic to reach the semifinals at a WTA tour event for the second time this season and fifth in her career. On Saturday, she plays 14th-seeded Andrea Petkovic as she seeks her first title — something Bouchard thinks she's more than ready for. "Every time I go into a tournament now and every match, I always believe I can win," she said. Even when she falls behind, as happened in her past two matches. Bouchard trailed in the third set against Venus Williams on Thursday and Jankovic this time before rallying to victories. "I feel confidence in myself," she said.
The sixth-seeded Bouchard trailed 2-1 in the final set. She then dug in to win the next three games and take control. Her steady, strong groundstrokes wore down Jankovic. "It was the third set and your concentration goes down a little bit if you're getting tired," Jankovic said. "It was so close. It could have went either way, if I was a little bit tougher out there and played certain points a little smarter."
The two also met in the quarterfinals last year, and Jankovic won 6-2, 6-1. Bouchard was ranked No. 114 then, but she's 20th now. "Well, I didn't want it to be Groundhog Day today, for sure," Bouchard said. "Same tournament, same round, same opponent."
The Montreal native won both her singles matches in a playoff tie with Slovakia, including the clinching match on Sunday, as Canada advanced to the 2015 Fed Cup World Group. Bouchard, at No. 18 in the WTA singles rankings, beat Jana Cepelova 7-6 (6), 6-3 in front of a spirited home crowd on the campus of Laval University. The win gave Canada a 3-0 lead in the best-of-five tie, and moved the Canadians into the elite World Group for the first time.
“I wasn’t happy with my level of play in both of my matches, but I am proud that I managed to win them both,” said Bouchard, 20. “It was a difficult adjustment for me to switch to hard courts from clay, but sure both victories feel great. “It feels great to know that we’ve made history here. I played a lot of matches for Canada in the Fed Cup, and I won most of them, so I am proud that I kind of lead this team to the World Group.”
On Saturday, Bouchard beat No. 137 Kristina Kucova 7-6 (0), 2-6, 6-1 in a close match, to give Canada a 2-0 advantage, after teammate Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., defeated Cepelova 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. Canada will now join the eight best teams on the planet in the World Group. A June 4 draw will determine Canada’s next opponent, and whether that tie will be held at home or on the road in 2015. “It’s a huge accomplishment in my opinion,” team captain Sylvain Bruneau said. “We’ve never been there. It all started with last year’s win over Columbia, then we beat Ukraine, a team that was ranked well ahead of us, then Serbia, and now Slovakia.”