An inability to take advantage late in the first set proved costly to Eugenie Bouchard. Al Dannity reports on the moment where her match with Carla Suarez-Navarro turned decisively.
It’s a moment where aggression needs to be tempered with wisdom. At 5-5 in the first set, Eugenie Bouchard had break point over her Spanish opponent. This was the 19 year old Canadian’s chance to take command of the third round match. Carla Suarez-Navarro was in no mood to go down easy. She held her nerve. Having taken the early advantage in the set, the Spaniard was rocked by Bouchard breaking back. Navarro however was ready for the youthful charge of her opponent this time. Sensing Bouchard would lament a missed opportunity she cranked it up a gear to break the Canadian in the next game and take the first set.
The second set was all about Suarez-Navarro getting inside Bouchard’s head, not giving her the chance to recover or find a second wind. Once she broke the Montreal native’s serve in the second set, the Spaniard had the momentum to break Bouchard’s will. For Bouchard this is a missed opportunity, for a veteran like Suarez-Navarro it was all about survival. A professional Tennis player of her standard is hardly living paycheck to paycheck but she knows how rare runs to the fourth round of a grand slam can be. Beating Bouchard meant ranking points, invites to other events, and a chance to live another day. Serving at 5-2 down with the match on the line, Bouchard finally gave in. Suarez-Navarro broke her again and the match was over. The flag-bearer for Canada in the singles, having led the charge at the start of the week, was now out. The maple fury that drove through the start of the tournament into Bouchard’s win over Ana Ivanovic dissipated as rapidly as it appeared. First went Vasek Pospisil, then Jesse Levine, then Milos Raonic, and now, finally, Bouchard.
Humbling as the turn of events may be for Tennis fans in Canada the flag still flies in SW19. Levine and Pospisil won their opening round match in the doubles today in straight sets. The excitement and hype that surrounded the singles surge won’t be the same but perhaps that’s for the best. Canada over-achieved early and the party came to a whimpering halt with Raonic’s untimely exit. A more balanced view on Levine and Pospisil is in order. They’re through one round, let’s just see if they can win the next one.