The slump continues for Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.
The 2014 Wimbledon finalist lost to world #117 Duan Ying-Yang in straight sets in the first round. She is not alone because moments later world #3 Simona Halep lost in three sets as her struggles continue.
The entire match was a complete mess for Bouchard, but only went downhill as she marched on. The stats for the first set will shock some people since it went into a tiebreak. Bouchard committed six double faults and 14 unforced errors, but managed to break Duan two times. However, she faced seven break points and only gave up two. But it was easy to see the grass at Wimbledon did not favor her this year.
At 6-6 in the first set, Duan took off in the tiebreak and killed it 7-3 to go up a set. In the second set, Duan played like a professional and protected her serve. She never once faced a break while breaking Bouchard once. Bouchard also committed four double faults, which brought the total to six.
Duan charged the net and gracefully served in the majority of her first serves and secured 88% of her first serve points.
It only took her 90 minutes to defeat Bouchard. She lost 12 of her last 14 matches and overall 18 out of 21 since she lost in Montreal in 2014. This loss will push her out of the top 20.
At the press conference, Bouchard admitted doctors told her not to play at Wimbledon due to a grade-2 tear in her abdomen. She taped herself, felt fine, but said her inability to practice definitely harmed her, especially her serve.
“Before the match I maybe did 10 serves,” she explained. “I was really trying to save myself. You know, it’s not a nice feeling, feeling under‑prepared. But I knew that was the case. I was going to try to go out there with what I had and not use it as an excuse. It’s not an excuse because I chose to play. I just definitely felt off.”
She also believes the injury, which she experienced earlier in the year, is a reason why she is in a slump.
“I think it’s a little bit of both [fitness and injury],” she said.
She added: “I think there was a little bit of bad luck in a few things, in a few cases. But also I’m not as strong as I want to be. I haven’t been the past couple months. It’s something I’ve realized and I’ve started to address. You know, I want to find a good trainer who can make me as strong as I can be so I don’t get these injuries. So one is definitely being not strong enough, but two, there has been some bad luck.”
Halep committed 34 unforced errors and seven double faults. She survived to claim the first set, but it took all the steam out of her. While the stats show a close second set, Halep did not show it on the court. She looked tired. Frustrated. Restless. One could almost think she wished she did not win the first set because she just wanted to get off the court.
“I think emotional,” she said when asked about her biggest struggle, adding,
I wasn’t there. I couldn’t handle it very well. She came back in a good way with her game. She was pushing me a lot. She was aggressive. But I can say that I let her come in and play aggressive. Actually about my game, I have no bad things. I’m confident in my game. But emotional and, like, inside power, it’s not there 100%.”
Set three was worse with 12 unforced errors from Halep. She also allowed Cepelova to break her three times.
Halep performed really well at other tournaments this year, winning Indian Wells and Dubai. But the Grand Slams just slap her in the face. She lost in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, but her attitude after the game left reporters baffled, just how she was so carefree about the defeat even though she was the third seed. She did not even make it out of the second round at the French Open, losing to world #70 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in straight sets.