Timea Bacsinszky came out on top in the battle of the former Roland Garros semi-finalists as she defeated Genie Bouchard to book her place in the last-32 of this year's second major, winning 6-4, 6-4 in just under an hour and a half, which included ten games in a row following a slow opening to the match.
Bacsinszky strikes back at Bouchard's bright start
The Canadian got off to a flyer, racing into a 3-0 lead, and playing the sort of tennis which saw her reach the last-four in both Melbourne & Paris and the Wimbledon final back in 2014, also the year where she won her, so far, only career title on the clay in Nürnberg.
Bacsinszky may have been struggling to deal with her opponent's early, aggressive hitting from the off, but she isn't the eighth seed and the world no.9 for nothing and as the set wore on, the Swiss started to find her range and broke back, with Bouchard starting to make numerous errors, especially with her backhand.
Having trailed 4-1, Bacsinszky rattled off five games in a row, to take the opener 6-4, and Bouchard suddenly looked like the player who was devoid of any confidence whatsoever, lost on court and couldn't buy a win last year, the antithesis of the first three games of the match.
The Swiss on a roll
That trend continued at the start of the second, with Bacsinszky, whose best Grand Slam result came twelve months ago in the French capital in reaching the last-four, broke the Bouchard serve once again, and was beginning to hit winners from both wings for fun.
The pair's only previous meeting came back in Indian Wells in March, with the Swiss no.2 coming through in three sets. This, however, had turned into a one-sided mauling. Bacsinszky moved into a 5-0 lead in the second, making it ten games in a row, and it seemed victory was near.
Genie's fightback in vain
Yet Bouchard decided to make a comeback from the brink, first avoiding the bagel and then taking four games in a row; the insurmountable was suddenly looking on. But it was too little, too late, and Bacsinszky eventually closed it out, following quite a few difficulties.
The start (and the finish) weren't the best, but if the eighth seed plays as well as she did in the middle, she could very well be a dark horse to go deep at Roland Garros once again. Her draw is opening up as well, with both Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka having bowed out already. Pauline Parmentier or Irina Falconi awaits next, but a run to the semi-finals shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility again. Should Bacsinszky get there, it could, and most likely, will be a meeting with Serena Williams again.