As part of her warmup for the Australian Open, Eugenie Bouchard earned her second victory of 2017 by defeating third-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals of the APIA Sydney International.
The meeting on court number one was expected to be hotly contested, and it was. Exchanging break points early on, the players were not ready to give up so easily.
After two missed attempts, Bouchard capitalized on her third break opportunity to take a 5-4 lead, eventually capturing the first set after a mistake from Cibulkova.
There was a sign of hope for Bouchard fans on Tuesday, as some may have lost belief since last year’s Wimbledon. The Canadian took control offensively, returning balls well to take control of the exchange, breaking 2-1.
Ranked 49th in the world, Bouchard was quick to repeat the break at 3-2, forcing the Slovakian to make a mistake with a long forehand.
Bouchard only needed two match points to hit the winner, a forehand along the line. Her ticket to the quarterfinals will be her first since the Kuala Lumpur tournament, back in March 2016. This was Bouchard’s fourth win in five matches over Cibulkova.
The Canadian will meet 27th ranked Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the first time on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
Bouchard won her first match of 2017 on Sunday 7-6 (1), 6-2 against China’s Zhang Shuai.