June 28, 2018 / 2:12 PM / 10 months ago

Bouchard survives qualifying to grab Wimbledon spot

FILE PHOTO: Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, Britain - June 17, 2018 Canada's Eugenie Bouchard waves to the crowd after winning her qualifying round match against Australia's Priscilla Hon Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard successfully negotiated the qualifying draw on Thursday, beating Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino 6-3 6-2 to secure a spot in next week’s main draw.

Ranked 191, the Canadian had to run the qualifying gauntlet in Roehampton and after winning two rounds held her nerve against Duque-Marino, who had narrowly missed automatic Wimbledon entry.

“I was really solid today, I was a little nervous before,” 24-year-old Bouchard, told the BBC. “I feel like I’ve earned (my main draw place) more than just being in by ranking, so I’m proud of it and I got matches this week which is what I wanted because I’ve not played a lot. I’ve been injured, so that was the goal.”

Roehampton’s wide expanses of playing fields are a far cry from the glamorous All England Club, where Bouchard played Petra Kvitova in a Center Court final in 2014.

Bouchard, who also reached the Australian and French semis that year, rising to number five in the world, will now head to Wimbledon with confidence restored.

Russia’s 33-year-old Vera Zvonareva, runner-up to Serena Williams in 2010, also claimed a place in the main draw with a straight sets victory over American Caroline Dolehide.

The former world number two gave birth to her daughter Evelyn in 2016 and decided to start competing again only recently when she entered and won an ITF event in Egypt.

Australian Bernard Tomic, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2011, will not feature this year after Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans beat him 6-3 6-1 6-2 in the final round of qualifying.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alexander Smith and David Stamp

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