Eugenie Bouchard breezes into Australian Open 3rd round
Pospisil wins doubles match
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard crushed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-0, 6-3 Wednesday to reach the third round of the Australian Open for a second straight year.
The seventh-seed from Westmount, Que., needed just 54 minutes to defeat the 72nd-ranked Bertens in their first career meeting.
Bouchard rolled through the opening set in just 23 minutes against an opponent who is now 0-5 versus top 10 opponents.
Two of Bertens' three game wins came on breaks of Bouchard's serve, including when the Canadian was first serving for the match.
Bouchard finished with six breaks of serve and 20 winners as she won a second consecutive match on the Margaret Court showcase arena.
"I think I put pressure on her a lot and I think probably forced her to make some errors," said Bouchard. "I was happy with the way I was able to step in and control the points, whether I did the winner or she did the error."
"In the end I think that's how I want to play. Just need to stay a bit more focused at the end to try to close it out. More on my terms."
Bertens briefly made a match of it in the second set, but fell behind despite breaking Bouchard in the opening game of the second set and losing the lead a game later.
"I lost my focus a bit, that's unacceptable," said the 20-year-old. "I'll make sure it won't happen again. I can be hard on myself, I'm a perfectionist."
"It's fun to play here at night, it's a special atmosphere," added Bouchard. "I'm glad I was finally able to hold my serve - and hold my serve at the end.".
Bouchard, who broke through to the semifinals in Melbourne and Paris last season before playing in the Wimbledon final, is now 7-1 in Australia.
Bouchard will play in the third round against France's Caroline Garcia, who beat Swiss player Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-4, coached by her own former mentor Nathalie Tauziat.
"I worked with Nathalie a little bit, I guess that's how the tennis world is," said the Canadian. "It's a small world.
"It's kind of musical chairs in terms of coaching. I'm sure it won't be the last time in my career. It won't really bother me. I'm not playing against the coach, I'm playing against the player.
"I'm not going to worry about it. I'm still friendly with Nathalie, so it's all good."
Pospisil advances in doubles
In men's doubles, Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil teamed with Austrian veteran Julian Knowle as the 13th-seeded pair won an opening match over German Jan-Lennard Struff and Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (4).
Pospisil, Wimbledon doubles champion last summer with Jack Sock, is playing with Knowle, a Wimbledon finalist in 2004, for the first time with Sock recovering after surgery and not back on court until at least next month.
The pair are the second Canadian doubles team in the event after Toronto's Daniel Nestor and new partner Rohan Bopanna. The seventh seeds won a debut title in Sydney last weekend.
Nadal nearly falls to unknown
Fourteen-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal was nearly upset by Tim Smyczek. The third-seeded Nadal pulled out a 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-5 win over the American qualifier, who is ranked No. 112 and has never beaten a top-10 player.
At the end of the third game of the third set, Nadal called for assistance and was given medication for stomach pain. At times in the match he was doubled over in pain, seemingly on the verge of sickness or exhaustion.
Yet he pulled through, earning the only break of the fifth set in the 11th game and then serving it out — after wasting three match points — in 4 hours, 12 minutes.
Sharapova, Federer, Murray advance
No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova saved two match points before escaping with a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 second-round win over fellow Russian Alexandra Panova, a qualifier ranked No. 150.
Roger Federer dropped the first set and needed medical advice on his sore right pinkie finger — scolding a camera operator by saying "Do you have to be that close?" — before beating Simone Bolelli 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the third round.
Three-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray wasn't bothered by anything, particularly the parochial crowd, as he beat Melbourne's Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
With files from CBCSports.ca