Eugenie Bouchard hit a wall in the second round of the Olympic women’s tennis draw Monday in form of world No. 2 Angelique Kerber. The German left-hander downed Bouchard 6-4, 6-2 in one hour 21 minutes to advance to the third round. “Kerber was solid today,” said Bouchard, of Westmount, Que., who defeated American Sloane Stephens in first-round action Saturday. “When I tried to attack she was able to get the ball back in places that were tough to get to.
It wasn’t a great day for Bouchard, ranked 40th in the world. The 22-year-old was good on only 58 per cent of her first serves and committed 36 unforced errors. “I didn’t feel good serving today,” she said. “Sometimes that happens. “I was put off a bit by the wind. And she attacked more than she did in our previous matches and, unfortunately, it worked for her. Often I felt I was controlling a point and she’d counter and put me on my heels. She’s good at that.” Bouchard, competing in her first Olympics, managed only one service break in five chances. Kerber, on the other hand, converted four-of-12 break opportunities. The day started well for Bouchard, who was up a break and led 4-1 in the first set before Kerber won seven straight games to take the first set and go up 2-0 in the second. Bouchard held service, but Kerber won the next three. Two games later, the German ended it on her first match point.
Two games later, the German ended it on her first match point.
Kerber will face either Samantha Stosur of Australia and Misaki Doi of Japan in the third round.
Despite the loss, Bouchard was pleased with her performance in singles.
“I don’t think I’m that far away from her,” she said. “Sometimes it’s the little details that make the difference between the top players and the rest of the field.” In WTA play, Bouchard has a 3-1 record against Kerber, including a win on clay in Rome in May, where she won in three sets. Otherwise, Kerber is having a brilliant season that includes winning the Australian Open and reaching the final at Wimbledon.
The Olympics aren’t over for Bouchard. She and Ottawa’s Gabriella Dabrowski will face Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova in the second round of doubles in what should be a challenging match. The Czech duo is coming off a win Sunday over the triple Olympic champions Serena and Venus Williams of the U.S. “Gaby and I wanted to play the Williams sisters because it would have been an amazing experience,” said Bouchard. “But the Czechs played better.
“I’ll have to ask Gaby what I should do.” Bouchard may also elect to play in mixed doubles.