Eugenie Bouchard rests her chin on her raquet after losing a point during her match against American Shelby Rogers at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal Tuesday August 05, 2014. Bouchard lost the match in three sets.
Photograph by: John Mahoney, THE GAZETTE
Eugenie Bouchard's homecoming was short and not-so-sweet.
Bouchard was the face of the Rogers Cup Canadian Open women's tennis championships after a string of impressive performances in the year's first three Grand Slam events.
But the 20-year-old from Westmount came up short Tuesday night, losing to American Shelby Rogers 6-0, 2-6, 6-0.
It was Bouchard's first match since she reached the final at Wimbledon and the rust was evident.
"I hadn't played a match in a while and I think the pressure got me a bit," said Bouchard, who was spraying balls all over court and having difficulty putting her first serve in play.
Bouchard said she took some consolation in coming back to win the second set.
"I proved to myself that I could fight back, but I got off to a bad start in the third set and she played solid throughout the match," Bouchard said.
Bouchard plans to play in Cincinnati next week and said she would use the loss here as motivation.
"I hope to get a few more matches ne xt week and be ready for the U.S. Open," Bouchard said. "I would have liked to do better in my hometown tournament, but it's just a match. There are a lot of ups and downs over the course of a year."
Rogers is ranked No. 113, but the American said she has been playing her best tennis in recent months. She has wins over Carla Suarez Navarro and Sara Errani, but said the win over No. 8 Bouchard was the highlight of her career.
"I knew I had to play aggressive and serve well because she has such a great return," said Rogers, who beat Bouchard in their only other meeting, three years ago when they were both starting out on the pro circuit.
After Bouchard appeared to take control in the second set, Rogers asked to confer with her coach who reassured her that she was on the right track.
"He just told me to keep doing what I was doing," said Rogers.
The American said she felt like a bit of a party crasher.
"I have a tournament in my hometown and I know what it's like to have the pressure of playing in front of the fans," said Rogers, who seemed almost embarrassed when she addressed the crowd after the win.
"I know they were pulling for her, but they were fair and they cheered me when I made a good point," said Rogers. "I told them: 'I know you don't want to hear from me.' "
The match was played under strange circumstances. A power outage meant there was no scoreboard and no microphone for the umpire until midway through the match. The start of the match was pushed back an hour to 7 p.m. so that Hydro-Québec could rig a generator to provide lights on the centre court.
"It was tough because you couldn't always hear the umpire and you had to keep track of the score," said Rogers. There was also a sprinkling of rain early in the match, but it didn't last long.
The final Canadian in the event, Stéphanie Dubois of Laval lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-2.
Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland joined Rogers in the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Czech Barbora Zahlvova-Strykcova.
In other matches involving seeded players, ninth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia defeated qualifier Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 6-2; 11th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark defeated Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-1 and 14th-seeded Suarez Navarro of Spain eliminated Bojana Jovanoski of Serbia 6-4. 6-3.
Former No. 1 Venus Williams battled for more than two hours before beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenko of Russia 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
Two lucky losers — players who lost in the final round of qualifying and then replaced players who withdrew — took advantage of a second chance.
Russian Elena Vesnina outlasted Italian Camila Giorgi 6-4, 1-6, 7-6. Vesnina replaced 16th-seeded Andrea Petkovic after the German became ill.
Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic had a place in the draw after Kurumi Nara of Japan suffered a hip injury and she cruised past qualifier Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 6-2, 6-1.
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