`Solid` Eugenie Bouchard looks to improve

Seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard said there was plenty of room for improvement after booking a berth in the Australian Open second round on Monday with a "solid" win over Germany`s Anna-Lena Friedsam.

AFP| Updated: Jan 19, 2015, 18:46 PM IST
`Solid` Eugenie Bouchard looks to improve

Melbourne: Seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard said there was plenty of room for improvement after booking a berth in the Australian Open second round on Monday with a "solid" win over Germany`s Anna-Lena Friedsam.

The 20-year-old Canadian,a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park last year, downed Friedsam 6-2, 6-4, cruising through the first set in 30 minutes then grinding out the second over 48 minutes.

"I started strong and it was a little bit windy," she said. "I was happy to stay solid but there`s still lots of things to improve."

She said she always felt in control against the world number 98 and was enjoying her tennis afer a long off-season that ended when she played the Hopman Cup this month and defeated world number one Serena Williams.

"I haven`t played an official match in two-and-a-half months, so it really does give your brain a break," she said. 

"For me, it makes me so excited to play. I feel good mentally and I`m just so ready to fight and leave everything on the court. I don`t feel tired at all."

Bouchard rose to prominence when she reached the semi-final of last year`s Australian Open then followed up with appearances in the final four at Roland Garros and the Wimbledon decider.

The world number seven took some time to warm up, conceding break points on her first three service games as unforced errors mounted but managed to hold on and stay on even terms.

Her radar finally kicked in at 3-2, when her returns began to find their range and she ran Friedsam around the court, rattling off five consecutive games to quickly wrap up the first set.

The second was a see-sawing affair as Bouchard tried to push the pace, snatching a break in the opening game.

But her attempts at spectacular winners frequently went wide or into the net and Friedsam seized her opportunity with a double break back.

Bouchard refocused to take control again and closed out the match when Friedsam pushed her return wide, sparking celebrations among the vocal "Eugenie Army" in the stands.

"It`s never easy playing a first round, especially of a Slam, so I`m happy I was able to get through it," the Canadian said.

"The support over here is crazy, I don`t know what it is but you guys make me feel so special, thank you."

Bouchard will play Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the second round.

"I`ve never played against her (and) I actually don`t really know much so I`ll ask my coach," she said.