2016 Aegon International

Bouchard shows magical touch

Canadian ace impresses to annihilate Lepchenko

© David Purday|phcimages.com

Eugenie Bouchard illuminated Court 1 at rain-affected Devonshire Park with a convincing and swift 6-1 6-2 triumph over Varvara Lepchenko.

The charismatic Canadian trounced the American qualifier from the off, seemingly in a hurry to dismantle her opponent.

Bouchard’s brilliance shone through, rattling off the opening set with aplomb.

Shell-shocked Lepchenko lost her appetite for a contest, lacking the composure to deal with heavily supposed Bouchard whose almost flawless shots left the American spellbound.

With Bouchard producing magical moments with her vast array of weapons and Lepchenko making rash decisions to fall apart, the contest was over within a quarter-of-an-hour.

Today’s success was no mean feat for Bouchard, who was blasted out of the Rioch Open in the Netherlands by Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens.

during day 3 of the Aegon International tournament at Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club on June 20th 2016 in Eastbourne, England. (Photo by David Purday/phcimages.com)

Bouchard: back in full swing © Photo: David Purday|phcimages.com

The Canadian’s first encounter on grass this term was exceptionally shortlived, suffering a hefty 6-2 6-0 defeat in 52 minutes.

But Bouchard blamed being rolled over by trying to fight off flu to register a hard-fought straight set victory at the Mallorca Open against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic – her first grass court victory of the season.

The 22-year-old was not firing on all cylinders but nevertheless she sealed a 6-3 7-5 success in 82 minutes, setting the Centre Court alight on the Spanish island.

But rather than sharpen her game, Bouchard was on the wrong end of a 6-3 6-3 result at the inaugural Mallorca Open, soundly beaten by little-known Latvian Anastasija Sevastova.

She revelled away from the courts in the sunshine of the Spanish resort and relaxed whilst many others on the circuit had a torrid time dodging rain at Birmingham’s Aegon Classic.

This break in Mallorca seems to have done the trick for Bouchard, who got into the swing of things at Eastbourne and let rip to annihilate Lepchenko.

Next up for buoyant Bouchard is world #28 Irina-Camelia Begu. The Romanian is seeded #15 and Bouchard can produce an upset to progress.

If Bouchard can replicate the wondrous array of weapons that she did today to outsmart lacklustre Lepchenko, then she make a charge towards clinching the Aegon International title and become the new darling of Devonshire Park’s Centre Court.

Importantly, she needs to realise her talent and play with confidence because notching back-to-back wins on the circuit has been problematic for the past 18 months.


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