Eugenie Bouchard is off to the third round at the Australian Open after a straight sets win over China’s Shuai Peng, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Bouchard got off to a great start, breaking Peng in the opening game. She held that advantage until the eighth game when Peng got the break point, evening the set at 4-4. They went to a tiebreak where the 22-year-old Canadian clinched the first set with a forehand winner.
After that nearly hour-long first set, Bouchard was much more efficient in the second. Up 2-1, she broke Peng in the fourth game and then again in the sixth, to take a 5-1 lead. Bouchard had a chance to serve for the set, but she was broken by Peng. However, Bouchard was able to return the favour, getting match point on a forehand winner. Total match time was just one hour 29 minutes.
“In the first set I wasn’t playing that great and I was a little bit nervous and she’s playing some great tennis right now,” Bouchard said in an on-court post-match interview. “I just tried to stay with her and luckily was able to play a bit better in the second. Overall I’m feeling better with each passing day.”
Bouchard’s next opponent will be 25-year-old American Coco Vandeweghe, currently ranked 35th in the world to Bouchard’s 47th. Bouchard won their only previous meeting in 2015 at Indian Wells. A victory would set up a round of 16 showdown with defending champion Angelique Kerber of Germany.