A Canadian woman hasn’t won the Rogers Cup tennis tournament since Faye Urban beat fellow Canadian Vicki Berner in the 1969 final. Could hometown favourite Eugenie Bouchard end that drought this week in Montreal? She opens play on Tuesday against Czech Lucie Safarova. Bouchard is -121 on Sports Interaction tennis odds with Safarova at -110.
Up-And-Down Season For Bouchard
Bouchard is ranked 42nd in the world and has just one WTA singles title thus far in her career: 2014 at Nürnberg in Germany when she beat Czech Karolina Pliskova in three sets in the finals. This year, Bouchard has a match record of 24-16 in singles play. Bouchard has reached two finals this year, losing to France’s Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-2 in Hobart in an Australian Open tune-up and to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-5 in Kuala Lumpur. Bouchard won a single match at the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open. Ditto at the clay-court French Open in late May, and Bouchard reached the Round of 32 at Wimbledon. She enters this tournament off an opening loss to Italy’s Camila Giorgi last week in Washington, D.C., 7-5, 6-4. Bouchard will head to Rio de Janeiro after this tournament to compete for Canada in the Olympics. It will be her first Summer Games. She will also compete in doubles in Rio with Gabriela Dabrowski.
The 22-year-old Montreal native has struggled in this tournament in her career, failing to advance past the second round. She lost in the first round last year in Toronto to eventual champion Belinda Bencic. Bouchard’s opponent Tuesday, the left-handed Safarova, is ranked 28th in the world. She has seven career WTA singles titles — including in 2013 in Quebec City — and is 12-10 in singles matches in 2016 with a championship in the clay-court Prague tournament, a warm-up to the French Open. Safarova last competed in a tournament at Wimbledon and lost in the Round of 16 to Yaroslava Shvedova.
Bouchard and the 29-year-old Safarova have played once all time. That was in Quebec City in 2013, with Safarova winning 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Bouchard is the slight -120 favourite to win the first set of Tuesday’s match with Safarova at -114. The favoured result overall is Bouchard winning in straight sets at +186. Her doing so in three sets is +323 on tennis odds. That the match ends in straight sets is the -178 favourite. And the total match games is set at 21.5, with the over a -143 favourite.
The winner of this match will face either Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova or Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Mariño in the next round. Cibulkova is ranked 10th in the world, has a 35-13 match record in 2016 and two titles. Mariño is ranked 81st in the world and has one career WTA title. Cibulkova is a heavy -588 favourite on tennis odds in that match with Mariño at +369. Bouchard is 2-1 all time vs. Cibulkova, winning their most recent match at the 2015 U.S. Open 7-6 (9), 4-6, 6-3. Bouchard is 1-0 vs. Mariño, beating her in 2013 in Acapulco.
If Bouchard were to win her first two matches, she likely would faced eighth-seeded Carla Suárez Navarro in the third round. The betting favourite to win the tournament, French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, is also in Bouchard’s half of the draw. American and world No. 1 Serena Williams had been the favourite but she pulled out of the event with a shoulder injury. The men’s side saw big names Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all withdraw. Murray is the defending champion.
Bouchard Vs. Safarova Prediction
Safarova wins in three sets at Uniprix Stadium. Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the No. 2 seed, wins the tournament.