Tennis: Bouchard shows glimpses of best to oust Konta

Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:04pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Eugenie Bouchard reminded a Centre Court crowd why not long ago she was billed as tennis's new golden girl and why she still might be when crushing the Wimbledon hopes of Britain's 16th seed Johanna Konta on Thursday.

Since reaching the final in 2014 against Petra Kvitova the Canadian's career has faltered while Konta has risen from obscurity, reaching the semi-finals of this year's Australian Open and rising into the world's top 20.

But the 22-year-old Bouchard made a mockery of her world ranking of 48 to win 6-3 1-6 6-1 and set up a third-round clash with Slovakia's 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova.

"I think it's my best performance of 2016. I have been working very hard, and I know that matches like this with a good performance will come, that it's just a question of time," Bouchard told reporters.

"I just need to keep working hard so that they are there more often. You know, just keep going."

Bouchard's decision to return to coach Nick Saviano, under whom she reached fifth in the world in 2014 after reaching the semis at the Australian Open and French before dazzling at Wimbledon, appears to have sparked a return to form.

She struck the ball early and with searing power to dominate the first set, but squandered game points on all but one of Konta's service games in the second as the match swung in favour of the British player.

Konta had a break point at the start of the deciding set but Bouchard saved it with a volley and two double faults in the next game allowed Bouchard to move into a 2-0 lead.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 30/6/16 Canada's Eugenie Bouchard celebrates winning her match against Great Britain's Johanna Konta REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge