Australian Open: Eugenie Bouchard overpowers Louisa Chirico in impressive first round match

Australian Open: Eugenie Bouchard overpowers Louisa Chirico in impressive first round match

Eugenie Bouchard is back in Melbourne, the place where all started for the Canadian in 2014. In her first round match, Bouchard played flawless tennis to defeat Louisa Chirico in straight sets and only losing four games.

Liliana Martinez

An impressive first round match by Eugenie Bouchard, who returns to the Grand Slam where she had her breakout back in 2014. The first set was an almost flawless display of tennis as Bouchard only had one unforced error, in the second the Canadian wasn’t as accurate but still remained unbeatable. In under an hour, Eugenie Bouchard defeated Louisa Chirico 6-0, 6-4 to secured her spot in the second round of the Australian Open.

Bouchard plays flawless tennis to win the opening set

It was not the desired start for the American as unforced errors and a double fault handed the first break to the Canadian. Aggressive from the baseline, Bouchard consolidated the break with a solid hold to love to lead 2-0. The Canadian managed to get a second break after an erratic game of serve from Chirico. The American finally won a point off her opponent’s serve after Bouchard hit a forehand forced error, but the Canadian would only yield two points on her serve before extending her lead to 4-0.

Back on serve, Chirico was yet to get on the scoreboard but now the American barely could win points on her serve as Bouchard pounded two backhand winners to lead 0-30. Another mistake from Chirico would give the Canadian another chance to break, despite saving one break point, the American eventually lost her serve for the third time. Serving for the first set, the Canadian didn’t show any sign of nerves in what had been a flawless set of tennis from Bouchard. It was during this game that Bouchard hit her first unforced error of the match, but not even that prevented the Canadian from taking the first set without losing a game.

Louisa Chirico prepares to serve during her first round match at the Australian Open. Photo: Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia

Chirico improves, but Bouchard is too strong

Thank you to a more erratic game from the Canadian, Chirico was finally able to get on the scoreboard, holding her serve in the first game of the second set. Losing her first game of the match didn’t mean too much for the Canadian who opened this second set firing up an ace and eventually only giving away one point on her serve to level up at 1-1. The American has improved from the first set, winning more points this time but Bouchard was hitting the ball at perfect timing, getting ahead in the rallies and forcing the first deuce of the match. Two unforced errors in a row from Chirico handed the first break of the set to the Canadian.

Leading 2-1, the Canadian found herself in a difficult position when she faced her first break point in the match, but she saved it with a forehand winner. Bouchard went on to hold her serve to consolidate the break, but there was no doubt the American was starting to wake up. Despite winning more points, Chirico still couldn’t find a way to beat Bouchard in the longer rallies and just like that another break happened. At 4-1, it seemed like the Canadian had everything under control but a streak of mistakes on her serve gifted the first break to the American.

Eugenie Bouchard celebrates after defeating Louisa Chirico in the first round of the Australian Open. Photo: Getty Images/Quinn Rooney

That break was a confidence boost to Chirico who went one to hold her serve to 15 and with being one break away from getting back on the set. Losing her serve for the first time didn’t affect the Canadian who proved how strong she was with a solid hold to love and put herself away in the comfortable position of being one game away from the second round. A hold from Chirico put the pressure to serve for the match on Bouchard. However, the Canadian barely struggled to serve out the match and book her spot in the second round.

Next for Bouchard

In the second round, Bouchard will face the 2014 US Open semifinalist, Shuai Peng who stunned the 23th seed, Daria Kasatkina. They only had played against each other once at Indian Wells in 2014 where the Canadian won in straight sets.