On a day where temperatures reached the mid-90's, it was Eugenie Bouchard who looked red hot, steamrolling past Kurumi Nara 6-1, 6-2 to book her place in the quarter finals of the 2016 BMW Malaysian Open, where she will play the winner of the match between Chang Kai-Chen and Cagla Buyukakcay next.
Bouchard Cruises Through Opening Set
After making quick work of Hong Kong's Zhang Ling on Monday evening, Bouchard came into this match full of confidence and seemed to have barely missed a beat, dropping just two points en route to mounting an early 3-0 lead. Nara, however, was able to survive a barrage of flat hitting from Bouchard to get herself on the board a game later, but even that couldn't stop the red hot Canadian's momentum who seemed to gain more and more confidence with every point she won. After responding with a hold of her own to go up 4-1, Bouchard was beginning to force the issue once more from the receiving end and despite the best efforts of Nara, the Canadian number one was able to break at the third time of asking to mount a 5-1 lead. From there, Bouchard proved she needed no second invitation as she converted her second set point to seal the opening set 6-1 in 31 minutes.
Bouchard Runs Away with Second Set; Books Place in Last Eight
The second set began much like the first as Bouchard was able to draw first blood, breaking straight away to open proceedings in the second frame. Having never faced a break point all match, the 22-year-old continued to dominate from the service line, consolidating the early break to give herself a set and 2-0 lead. From there, the pair exchanged holds of serve until the seventh game where once again, Bouchard began to reassert her death grip on this second round encounter, showing no signs of letting up when she broke for a fourth time to mount a seemingly insurmountable set and 5-2 advantage. In the end, Bouchard's powerful hitting proved too much for Nara who admittedly was far from her best, but the Canadian sure didn't mind, serving the match out to love to seal a comprehensive 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Bouchard: "I'm On the Right Path"
"No match is easy. I was focused on every single point and I just tried to stay aggressive and that worked well today," Bouchard explained. "I'm on the right path, but I'm not expecting it to come in one day. I know it's a long journey and I had a lot of time off because of injury. It's going to take a least a few months to get back to where I was, but I'm just trying to stay positive and focused on one tournament at a time."
"This is an opportunity to get more matches and that's what I need right now, so I'm happy I got two here already and I'm looking forward to a couple more, hopefully," she added optimistically.