Tennis: Naomi Osaka overcame a second set slump to win her first round match against Maria Sakkari at the Brisbane International.
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard is off to a flyer in 2020.Source:AP
Eugenie Bouchard is dangerously close to a career turning point after advancing to her first WTA quarter-final in 12 months on Wednesday.
The Canadian sensation’s 6-4 6-4 win over former top-ten player Caroline Garcia in Auckland also gives Bouchard her first win against a top 50 ranked player since October, 2018.
In the 15 months since that win in Luxembourg, Bouchard’s career has fallen apart, dropping to a low of No. 262 in the rankings, while also losing 14 of her last 16 matches on the WTA Tour in 2019.
She is showing signs early that 2020 is going to be a very different year for the former World No. 5.
Bouchard’s 7-5 7-5 win over Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens in the first round of the ASB Classic on Monday gave her a first win above the WTA 125k event level since February, 2019.
Now she’s just enjoyed her best performance in 15 months.
Victory over World No. 46 and No. 8 seed in Auckland Garcia didn’t come easy — and it’s why it’s such a significant result for the 25-year-old.
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard was hitting them from everywhere.Source:AP
After missing match point chances on Garcia’s serve late in the second set, Bouchard also faced break points while trying to serve out the match.
She eventually triumphed after an hour and 28 minutes.
Her off-season with coach Jorge Todero is showing enough promise early to suggest a return to the top levels of the WTA rankings is not out of the question in 2020.
She will face either Daria Kasatkina or American rising star Amanda Anisimova in the final eight.
Meanwhile, Alize Cornet has pulled off the first major upset of the ASB Classic in Auckland, eliminating second-seed Croatian Petra Martic in a tense three-set encounter.
Frenchwoman Cornet won 3-6 6-4 6-4 on Wednesday, fighting back to topple world No. 15 Martic.
Eugenie Bouchard had a nightmare 2019.Source:AFP
The 57th-ranked Cornet was more consistent with her first serve and broke Martic on six occasions to advance to a quarter-final against unseeded American Jessica Pegula.
It was a blow for 28-year-old Martic ahead of the Australian Open. She has climbed to a career-high in the rankings on the back of reaching the quarter-finals at last year’s French Open.
Cornet has won six career titles but has always struggled at grand slams, failing to reach the last eight in 55 major appearances.
She has a chance to go deep in Auckland, however, placed on the opposite side of the draw to tournament favourite and top seed Serena Williams and teenage sensation Coco Gauff.
Americans Williams and Gauff will play their second-round matches on Thursday. World No.82 Pegula, who notched her first WTA title in Washington last August, was a comfortable 6-2 6-3 winner over Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.
— with AAP