MELBOURNE: Struggling star Eugenie Bouchard won her first match of the year Thursday, posting a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Australian teen Destanee Aiava at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.
The Canadian had gone down in three group matches last week at the Hopman Cup in Perth and was eliminated in the first round at Hobart on Monday, denting her Australian Open preparations.
“I was happy to be out there in a pretty official-feeling match,” said the 23-year-old. “There were stands, a crowd, and an umpire. It was like a practice match but kind of real.”With time running out for her to be ready for the opening Grand Slam of the year, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist, now ranked 83rd after a dismal last season, eagerly accepted a late invitation for a hit-out at Kooyong.
Bouchard, who made the Australian Open semi-finals in 2015 and the quarters a year later, said her current tennis was a work in progress after changing her routine and coaches in the off-season.“It’s progressing,” she said. “I was just focussing on myself and the things I have to work on throughout the match.”