Bouchard suffers at hands of Radwanska after early promise

Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:43am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former golden girl Eugenie Bouchard's hopes of rehabilitation at the Australian Open came to a swift end on Wednesday as wily Agnieszka Radwanska sent the Canadian spinning out of the tournament with a 6-4 6-2 defeat in the second round.

The 21-year-old Bouchard, whose career hit the buffers last year following her break-out 2014 season when she reached the Wimbledon final, crumbled under the lights of Rod Laver Arena after sprinting into a 4-2 lead in the first set.

She lost six straight games to gift the set and an early break in the second to the Polish fourth seed, and was then powerless to mount a challenge as her forehand misfired and the errors started piling up.

Staring down the barrel at 5-2, Bouchard was presented with one last chance to rally, having prised three break-points as Radwanska served for the match.

But the 37th-ranked Canadian squandered them all in a run of four unforced errors, capitulating meekly at the tournament that was the springboard for her sensational 2014.

"I definitely felt in control at that moment ... You can't ever back off her and give her a chance to breathe," Bouchard explained to reporters about her failure to capitalise on such an encouraging start in the night session match.

Bouchard made the semi-finals at Melbourne Park and the French Open that year before going one better at Wimbledon, prompting pundits and former players to declare her a future grand slam champion.

Reaching a peak of world number five, she made the Australian Open quarter-finals last year before the wheels fell off with first-round exits at the French Open and Wimbledon.   Continued...

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard serves during her second round match against Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY