While her three-set win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova may not be one in which Eugenie Bouchard would be overly pleased with her performance, Day Six at the 2014 US Open could prove to be the moment the tournament stared to turn in favour.
The young Canadian was nowhere near her best but was still good enough to squeak out a 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4 victory over the WTA Tour vet in Saturday evening action at Flushing Meadows. After cruising through the opening set in all of thirty-four minutes, Bouchard inexplicably turned into an unforced error machine and ultimately made what should have been a rather straightforward win into something far more difficult.
The No. 7 seed coughed up a staggering twenty-one unforced errors in set number two, which led directly to her becoming completely unglued and essentially handing over the tiebreaker to her opponent. To her credit, Bouchard was the aggressor for much of the match but her groundstrokes were quite literally all over the map.
The twenty-year-old would go from ripping a beautiful passing shot to missing so badly that it was almost comical. It was as uneven a performance as we have seen from the youngster in a Grand Slam match this year and it nearly came back to bite her. However, in typical Bouchard fashion she righted the ship when it mattered most and played her best tennis when the match was on the line.
No one likes winning ugly but it was a necessary evil on this night. With the victory Bouchard not only improved to a perfect 2-0 at Arthur Ashe Stadium but also booked her place into the fourth round where she will take on the No. 17 seed Ekaterina Makarova. While she undoubtedly expected to make it into the second week of the Open, the woman who picked her apart in the Wimbledon Final was not so lucky.
Despite playing some quality tennis leading up to New York, Petra Kvitova was bounced in straight sets by Russian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic during the afternoon session…in what is arguably the biggest upset of the tournament thus far. With the No. 3 seed no longer in the equation, Bouchard’s side of the draw has once again opened up in favour of the Canadian, as it did in England and at Roland Garros during the French Open.
As things currently sit, the Montreal native would have to get past Makarova and the winner of the Victoria Azarenka - Alexsandra Krunic fixture to book her trip into a fourth consecutive major semi-final…in which she would very likely have to face top-seed Serena Williams. Obviously it would be a dream scenario for tournament organizers but something tells me it would also be a stage that Eugenie Bouchard would absolutely love to have a shot at conquering.