Eugenie Bouchard loses to Kristina Mladenovic in 1st match at Aegon Birmingham Classic
Canadian’s confidence takes hit before Wimbledon
Eugenie Bouchard has had her troubles with Kristina Mladenovic on the tennis court the past three weeks, and now there could be an issue with the Canadian's confidence.
Bouchard dropped a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 decision to the 43rd-ranked Mladenovic in her opening match at the Aegon Birmingham Classic on Wednesday in England.
The loss was the Montreal native's 10th in her last 11 matches that has seen Bouchard fall out of the top 10 world rankings.
Mladenovic had six aces to Bouchard's one, and saved nine of 10 break point chances.
"I felt very frustrated," Bouchard said. "But they told us that if we smack our rackets on the court we would get a huge fine, so perhaps that's why I kept my cool."
Next for the No. 11 Bouchard is a trip to Eastbourne, the final tune-up ahead of Wimbledon, where the 21-year-old made a surprise run to the finals last year, losing in straight sets to Petra Kvitova.
At the French Open last month, Bouchard lost to Mladenovic in the first round.
At the start of this season, Bouchard had emerged as a budding star on the women's tennis circuit, having also reached the semifinals at the French and Australian Opens a year ago.
Elsewhere, former world No. 1s Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic departed from the tournament, with only Ivanovic confident of being ready for Wimbledon in 11 days.
Azarenka suffered another blow to her chances of reviving her faltering career when she was forced to withdraw with a left foot injury, while Ivanovic's title defence was ruined in the second round by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6).
With files from The Canadian Press