Eugenie Bouchard succumbs to Makarova, heat at U.S. Open
Canadian needed medical attention in 2nd set
Canada's Eugenie Bouchard is out of the U.S. Open.
The Westmount, Que., native lost her fourth-round match 7-6 (2), 6-4 to Ekaterina Makarova on a sweltering Monday afternoon in New York City after needing treatment from medical staff midway through the second set.
The 17th-seeded Makarova advanced to the quarter-finals, where she will face the winner of a match between Victoria Azarenka and Aleksandra Kunic.
The defeat prevented Bouchard from reaching at least the semifinals of a fourth Grand Slam tournament this year.
Play was stopped for about 10 minutes in the second set after Bouchard wasted two break points to fall behind 3-2.
The 20-year-old, who appeared to be overheated, looked in distress as medics took her blood pressure and then rubbed her down with ice bags at her courtside chair.
It was a scary moment, but she got up and finished the match.
"I was feeling very light headed and dizzy on the court: You know, just seeing things a little blurry," the 20-year-old said. "They think the heat got to me a little bit.
"And they know I probably was more tired than usual from the past few matches."
Delayed news conference
Doctors kept her from doing her post-match interview for more than two hours as they helped her to recuperate. She said playing the two three-set matches late at night in the previous two rounds also played a part.
"I think I did well to push myself through those matches, but I also need to have the endurance," she said. "I haven't had that in the past few months, basically.
"So it's not a huge surprise to me. It's disappointing, but I know there's no reason to worry. Once I do a lot of good training, I can compete at this level for two whole weeks, hopefully."
Makarova said she also felt the heat, but offered that it may have hit Bouchard harder because she runs more and plays a more physical game.
"Actually I thought 'thanks' because I was also tired and it really helped me also," Makarova said of the time out. "I had time to recover and use ice bags too.
"It was really tough conditions. So humid. I think, because of that, the game was going up and down."
Bouchard was able to resume the match, but immediately lost her serve. Remarkably, she battled back to break Makarova's service and then hold her own to tie the set at 4-4.
But 26-year-old Makarova broke service again to take the match, winning all four points in the final game and punctuating her win with a forehand return down the line.
She has been battling minor injuries that were built up during her stirring run at the biggest events this year. She became the most talked about player on the WTA tour as she reached the semifinals of the Australian and French Open and then went to the final at Wimbledon in June.
Despite the U.S. Open setback, her 19 wins are the most by any WTA player at grand slams this year.
But she hasn't been o form since the hardcourt season began more than a month ago. That was evident at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, where she was beaten in her first match by unheralded American Shelby Rogers.
"I didn't have the highest expectations from myself for this tournament," said Bouchard. "Since Wimbledon it's been a little bit of a struggle with nagging injuries.
Bouchard, whose fan following has swelled with her grand slam success this season, was given an ovation as she walked onto court at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the event's second biggest venue.
Her success, which included reaching the Wimbledon final, vaulted her into the top 10 in WTA rankings. She was seeded seventh at the U.S. Open.
For a few hours, Milos Raonic was the lone Canadian remaining in the singles draws at the U.S. Open. But the men's No. 5 seed fell to No. 10 Kei Nishikori by scores of 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 in a match that ended early Tuesday morning.
Earlier Monday, Canadian Vasek Pospisil and his American teammate Jack Sock were eliminated in the third round of the men's doubles event, losing 6-2, 6-2 to Argentina's Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer.
Bouchard squanders break points
Both Bouchard and Makarova opened strong, holding service without surrendering a point, but Bouchard was broken on her next service game with two double faults. Bouchard had a break point in the next game, but Makarova dominated three straight points to take a 3-1 lead.
Makarova was making shots, particularly with a tricky forehand, and held for 4-2 without allowing Bouchard to return a serve.
But Bouchard got on a roll, holding serve with a pair of aces and then winning a challenge en route to a break to tie the set. It was all Makarova in the tiebreak, however.
A telling stat: Bouchard converted only two of 10 break point opportunities in the match.
Makarova shone at the Rogers Cup in Montreal a month ago, where she lost in the semifinals to eventual winner Agnieska Radwanska.
In another match, top-seeded Serena Williams defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, 6-3, 6-3.
With files from CBCSports.ca and The Canadian Press