Eugenie Bouchard opened her 2017 Australian Open campaign with an easy straight sets victory over 20-year-old American Louisa Chirico.
In a match that took just 55 minutes to play, Bouchard dispatched the 65th-ranked Chirico 6-0, 6-4.
As a sign of Bouchard’s dominance, the first set lasted only 18 minutes, which she joked afterwards was for the benefit of the fans in attendance. Bouchard and Chirico didn’t get onto the court until nearly 11pm local time after it took 2014 Aussie Open champion Stan Wawrinka nearly three and a half hours to win his men’s first round match.
In the second set, Bouchard broke Chirico in the third game. And again in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. In the seventh game, Chirico broke back to close the gap to 4-3. But they stayed on serve the rest of the way and Bouchard closed it out when Chirico sent a forehand long.
“I really worked hard in the off season and really found my motivation,” Bouchard said in a post-match on-court interview. “I think I improved a couple things in my game and I feel very energetic on the court and that helps me play better so I just want to keep going. It’s still a long road ahead.”
Bouchard improved her career record at the Australian Open, where she reached the semis in 2014, to 11-3. Her next opponent will be Shuai Peng of China, who defeated 23rd seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-0, 7-6.