WTA Indian Wells: Annika Beck outlasts an erratic Eugenie Bouchard

WTA Indian Wells: Annika Beck outlasts an erratic Eugenie Bouchard

In the last women's match on Stadium 1, Eugenie Bouchard faced Annika Beck. The Canadian was the favorite to win this tie but Annika Beck proved to be up to the challenge as Bouchard kept yielding points because of her mistakes.

Liliana Martinez

The last women’s match on Stadium 1 featured former Wimbledon finalist, Eugenie Bouchard, and Annika Beck. Both players came from losing in the first round in Acapulco. It was always Beck who struck first in this match, however, Bouchard was able to turn that around in the first set. The Canadian began to fail easy shots while her opponent played aggressive tennis that stopped Bouchard from taking control in the rallies.

In the match, Bouchard hit 66 unforced errors in what would be her demise. After 2 hours and 14 minutes, Annika Beck defeated Eugenie Bouchard 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Beck gets the early break but Bouchard wins five games in a row to take the first set

It was a rough start for the Canadian who saw herself facing a break point after a forehand unforced error, which Beck took advantage of with a forehand winner to take the first break. However, now it was the German who was making mistakes to give Bouchard the chance to make it 1-1, but the Canadian hit a forehand that landed beyond the baseline to force a deuce. Beck got out of the trouble and held to lead 2-0. Bouchard saved herself from another complicated game and held to be on the scoreboard, but still a break down.

Bouchard got another break point, but Beck used her serve to force the error out of the Canadian, but the Canadian found a second break point after hitting a backhand passing shot. However, Beck was not willing to yield the advantage and responded with a forehand winner. Two unforced errors from the Canadian handed the hold to the German to extend her lead to 3-1. The Canadian began playing more aggressively as she started to step into the court more often, the new pace helping Bouchard to hold. For the third game in a row, Beck faced break points but this time the Canadian didn’t waste time to take it and with that, leveled the score to 3-3.

Eugenie Bouchard was down most of the first set but came back and won five games in a row to take the first set. (Photo: Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

Bouchard had to suffer a lengthy service game as Beck forced to deuce three times before the Canadian finally held to lead for the first time in the set 4-2. Bouchard fired up a cross-court backhand to get a break point in the following point, but Beck erased when she hit a forehand passing shot after a weak smash from the Canadian. After two break points were saved by the German, Bouchard converted the third one, winning four games in a row to now serve for the set. The momentum had shifted to the Canadian’s serve as she gained three set points. The German saved one as she hit a forehand winner that barely touched the baseline, but a long backhand from Beck confirmed the hold. After winning five games in a row, Bouchard sealed the first set 6-3.

Beck plays inspired tennis to force a third set

Beck began the second with a 40-0 lead but Bouchard won two points to put pressure on the German, but she didn’t yield and held to lead 1-0. Just like in the first set, Bouchard started making unforced errors, this time hitting a double fault to hand Beck three break points. Despite saving one, Beck got the early break after a wild backhand from the Canadian. The German had a tough game as she was forced to save three break points, but eventually, she did to lead 3-0.

Despite losing that first set, Beck was playing inspired tennis as Bouchard kept making mistakes. Those errors led her to drop her serve for the second time extending the German’s lead to 4-0. It seemed like the Canadian was waking up again as she broke to 15 to retrieve one of the breaks and finally get on the scoreboard. Beck kept fighting but Bouchard managed to get the hold after a facing a break point, but she still was a break down.

Annika Beck dominated the second set and forced the match to be decided in three. (Photo: Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

In the following game, it seemed like Beck had secured the hold after what looked like a long smash from the Canadian, but Bouchard challenged which proved the ball was indeed in to force deuce. Bouchard got a break point but lost it right away after a long return. The German didn’t yield to the pressure and held to lead 5-2. Bouchard saw herself in trouble when Beck got a match point, but a long forehand helped the Canadian. On the second break point, Bouchard double faulted to force a third set.

Bouchard can't find her pace as she misses easy shots, Beck plays solid tennis to take the match

It was a long game for Beck to begin the decider who had to fight to not surrender her serve and lead 1-0. Once again, mistakes from the Canadian helped Beck to get the early break. Bouchard threatened to comeback but Beck was too strong, hitting a 69 mph ace before a mistake from the Canadian granted her the hold, now leading 3-0.

The set was going fast as Bouchard didn’t seem to find the game that had helped her win the first set, once again the Canadian dropped her serve but this time to love which put Beck up 4-0. However, Bouchard was not ready to give up as she found the break to get on the scoreboard. Bouchard was missing easy shots and a failed smash gave Beck a break point but the Canadian saved with a forehand winner. The Canadian faced a second break point which the German took after hitting a forehand passing shot that initially had been called out but after a challenge was confirmed to be in, extending Beck’s lead to 5-1.

Eugenie Bouchard did 66 unforced error while Annika Beck played aggressive tennis to win the match. (Photo: Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

Serving for the match, Beck faced two aggressive returns from Bouchard which put the Canadian up 0-30. A double fault gave Bouchard two break points, the Canadian broke to stay in the match. However, a very erratic following game from Bouchard gave Beck three match points which the German converted after a wide backhand from the Canadian.

Next for Beck

In the second round, Annika Beck will face the 28th seed, Kristina Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman leads the series 2-0, with their last encounter coming in 2012 in Quebec City where Mladenovic won in three sets.