Bouchard stays positive despite another early exit

Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:06pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - Eugenie Bouchard was hailed as the new face of women's tennis just 12 months ago but the Canadian's downward spiral continued on Tuesday with a humbling 6-0 5-7 6-2 loss to Swiss Belinda Bencic in the opening round of the Rogers Cup.

Home fans had come out in force to cheer on the 21-year-old but had little reason to get excited as the error-prone Bouchard fell at the first hurdle for the eighth time in 10 tournaments.

Despite the disappointing run, Bouchard was eager to salvage something positive from her evening's work, latching onto the fact she was able to overcome a listless opening set to win the second and force the match to a decider.

"It's for sure a step in the right direction," Bouchard told reporters.

"I feel like I started out a little bit rusty in a sense. Haven't had a lot of match play recently, but I was able to raise my game and I think it was pretty competitive out there after that first set.

"So I'm pleased with my performance."

It has been a stunning fall from grace for Bouchard, who last year reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French Opens and the final at Wimbledon.

Everyone from world number one Serena Williams to WTA Tour CEO Stacey Allaster tipped her as the sport's next star.   Continued...

SwitzerlandAug 11, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
Eugeneie  Bouchard of Canada returns a ball to Belinda Bencic of Switzerland (not pictured) during their second round match at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at the Aviva Centre. Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports