Abanda breaks through at Wimbledon while Bouchard, Shapovalov bow out
A mixed Monday for Canadians saw Francoise Abanda win her first match at Wimbledon, while Genie Bouchard and Denis Shapovalov exited The Championships in the first round of singles play.
Abanda beat Kurumi Nara of Japan in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 for her first career main draw victory at the third Grand Slam of the season. The 20-year-old won three qualifying matches last week to secure her place in the competition this year, while Nara is ranked 94th in the world, 48 places ahead of Abanda.
The Canadian had a bright start to the match breaking Nara on the opening game, en route to getting through the first set in 42 minutes on the strength of two break points and conceding none.
Both players struggled to hold serve in the second set, dropping two games each, before Abanda won her fifth break point of the match. She then served out for a spot in the second round against 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, who won her first Grand Slam – Roland Garros – last month in Paris.
Bouchard was in full control of her first set against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain winning 6-1 in 29 minutes. An upset over the 25th seed for Bouchard would’ve had observers reminiscing about her run to the final at Wimbledon in 2014, however it wasn’t to be.
Suarez Navarro stormed back to win the match 1-6, 6-1, 6-1, subduing the Canadian over the next hour. Last year the Spaniard reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and is a regular threat to go deep at Grand Slams.
Earlier in the day 18-year-old Shapovalov made his debut in the main draw of men’s singles at Wimbledon. Last year’s junior champion put in a two hour, 29-minute effort against Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, who reached as high as number 14 in the world in 2013 before injuries helped knock him down the rankings.
Falling behind after losing the first set 6-4, Shapovalov managed to pull level winning the second 6-3. An early break point in the third set was the difference in Janowicz pulling ahead before a fourth set tiebreak sealed the close match 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) for the Polish player.
Canadians who are still left in singles will make their 2017 Wimbledon debut on Tuesday with Milos Raonic, seeded sixth, facing Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany. Meanwhile, Vasek Pospisil’s first round opponent will be one of the toughest in the tournament, eighth seed Austrian Dominic Thiem, who has reached fourth round or better in his last three Grand Slams since exiting Wimbledon in the second round last season.