NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eugenie Bouchard battled to a 6-2 7-6(2) 6-4 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova to move into the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Saturday, continuing to build momentum after a lackluster buildup to the year’s final grand slam.
A semi-finalist in the previous three slams, including a runner-up finish at Wimbledon, the 20-year-old won just one match in three tournaments leading up to Flushing Meadows but has slowly found her groove on the New York hardcourts.
However, if the seventh-seeded Canadian is to make her grand slam breakthrough in New York she will have to lift her game after converting just seven of 17 break chances against her 30th seeded Czech opponent.
Just when it seemed as if the match might be slipping away from her, Bouchard delivered when it mattered most, breaking Strycova to go up 5-4 in the third set then holding serve to clinch a spot in the next round.
Bouchard can expect an even tougher test from her next opponent, 17th seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who was a 6-2 6-4 winner over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.
Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Peter Rutherford