Following her first-round loss to Shelby Rogers at the 2014 Rogers Cup in Montreal last year, the change of scenery didn’t do much for Eugenie Bouchard as the Canadian crowd favorite suffered her second straight home turf defeat in Toronto on Tuesday.
Playing Belinda Bencic, Bouchard was met by an enthusiastic crowd that was determined to push her favorite along as far as it would take. The atmosphere inside the Aviva Tennis Centre soon went from boiling to freezing though, as Bouchard dropped the first set 0-6, much to the surprise of her loyal followers.
The Canadian star battled back to force a third-set decider, showing some promising tennis after what has been a season full of disappointment for her so far. Unfortunately, Tuesday did not end on a high note for Bouchard, since Bencic kept her composure in the third set, sending Bouchard off to Cincinnati without a win on home soil.
Earlier in the day, Serena Williams was able to fight off an early-round disappointment in Canada as the world #1 survived a three-set scare against Italian Flavia Pennetta in her second-round match. Fighting back from a dropped first set, Serena had to work hard to keep herself in the tournament, once again managing to pull out a close match thanks to her legendary fighting spirit, even when her back is against the wall.
Victoria Azarenka had no such problems on Tuesday. The former world #1 is safely through to the tournament’s second round, following an impressive straight set win over Elina Svitolina. Azarenka’s win sets up the much-anticipated clash with Petra Kvitova — the two double Grand Slam champions last played each other four years ago!
Not surprisingly, the elusive Azarenka–Kvitova match will be the highlight of Wednesday’s schedule at the Rogers Cup. Fans will also get to see the first appearances of Caroline Wozniacki & Ana Ivanovic kicking off their campaign to fight for the Rogers Cup title.