Eugenie Bouchard reveals struggle with eating disorder
Canadian tennis star says after French Open win that nerves contributed to weight loss
Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard says she has overcome an eating disorder brought on by "a lot of pressure" and the added expectation that followed her breakthrough year in 2014.
Speaking after a first-round victory Tuesday at the French Open, Bouchard said she felt as though food "would come right back up" and struggled with weight loss in 2015, when her ranking slipped.
She says "before matches I was very nervous and definitely had trouble eating. And not just before matches, [it] happened to me at other meals as well."
The 22-year-old Canadian finished 2014 with a career-high year-end ranking of seventh, after her Wimbledon final loss to Petra Kvitova and semifinal appearances at the French Open and Australian Open. Her ranking fell to 48th at the end of 2015.
Bouchard cruised into the second round Tuesday, beating Germany's Laura Siegemund 6-2, 6-2.
The Montreal native played a clean match and avoided hitting into a double-fault, while Siegemund committed six. Bouchard had 13 break opportunities against Siegemund and converted five of them.
Bouchard next faces eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland. Bacsinszky defeated Bouchard 6-2 5-7 6-2 in the third round at Indian Wells earlier this year in their only previous meeting.
Bouchard has bounced back this season with a pair of tournament runner-up finishes. She said her play started to improve at last year's U.S. Open, where she reached the fourth round before having to withdraw after falling and sustaining a concussion.
"I had a really bad loss the week before [the U.S. Open] in New Haven and it was a reality check," Bouchard said. "It was a slap in the face."
She credited former coach Jimmy Connors for providing a "positive voice" late in the 2015 season.
Pospisil, Wozniak eliminated
On the men's side, Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil lost his opening-round match 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 to No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., also went down in straight sets, losing 6-1, 6-1 to Yulia Putintseva.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., the No. 8 seed in the men's draw, opened with a straight-sets win over Janko Tipsarevic on Monday.
Murray avoids big upset
Andy Murray rallied to win from two sets down for the ninth time, advancing to the second round of the French Open by beating qualifier Radek Stepanek 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in a match that took two days to complete.
Murray was leading 4-2 in the fourth set when play was suspended Monday because of darkness. He was twice two points from losing while serving and trailing 5-4 in the fifth. But he held there, then broke Stepanek and served it out after wasting his first match point with a double-fault.
"It's unbelievable what he is doing," Murray said. "At 37 years old, coming out and fighting like that. I don't expect to be doing that myself at that age."
Murray had rallied from two sets down twice before at Roland Garros, against Richard Gasquet in the first round six years ago and then to beat Viktor Troicki in the fourth round in 2011.
Serena starts strong
Serena Williams's defence of her French Open women's title got off to a comfortable start with a 6-2, 6-0 first-round win against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia that took just 42 minutes.
The top-ranked Williams barely broke a sweat in the day's last match on the Philippe Chatrier Court. She won the last 10 games, after going 2-2 in the first set.
The American Francophile's French, while improving year by year, still requires a little work. Williams told the Paris crowd in its native language she was "very concentrated" for the first "stage" match, quickly correcting that to "round."
"Your French is perfect, just like your serve," former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, who conducted the interview, complimented her.
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is through to the second round.
Bidding to complete a career Grand Slam in Paris after losing in the final three times over the past four years, Djokovic defeated 95th-ranked Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.
Djokovic was in complete control, broke his opponent seven times and closed out the match with a superb drop shot.
Speaking in French during his on-court interview, Djokovic says "these two weeks might be the most important in the whole season."
Nadal in top form
Rafael Nadal is back doing what he does best: Demolishing opponents on the red clay of Roland Garros.
The nine-time champion's 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory against Sam Groth of Australia added another notch to the Spanish player's stunning record in Paris, now at 71 wins, with just two losses.
Groth, an Australian ranked 100 who has yet to make the second round of the French in two visits, lacked the variety of shots and power to derail Nadal's pursuit of a 15th major title.
"So bad, so bad," he muttered to himself after netting a backhand as Nadal raced through the first set. In all, they were on court for 80 minutes.
Seeded fourth, Nadal lost last year in the quarterf-inals to Novak Djokovic, ending a 39-match winning streak at Roland Garros.
Also advancing in the men's draw were No. 13 Dominic Thiem, No. 15 John Isner and No. 20 Bernard Tomic.
Kerber, Azarenka out
Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, the No. 3 seed in the women's tournament, was beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 by 58th-ranked Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
It's the second time in three years that the Australian Open women's champion lost in the first round at Roland Garros — the same thing happened to Li Na in 2014.
Kerber received treatment on her left shoulder at the changeover as she trailed 3-0 in the deciding set. The left-handed Kerber then briefly left the court and returned to win her service game but could not break back and lost the match.
Kerber arrived in Paris on the back of early losses in both Madrid and Rome. Last week she pulled out of the Nuremberg tournament because of her shoulder injury.
Hobbling around court on a gimpy right knee, two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka also went out in the first round.
The fifth seed from Belarus locked up the knee in the second set when preparing to return the serve of Karin Knapp from Italy. Azarenka got treatment, laying on a mat on the red-clay court, and endured through a tiebreaker to level the match at one-set all, saving a match point.
Knapp raced away in the third set as Azarenka struggled to run or bend her knees to serve. There were unsympathetic laughs from the Court 1 crowd when she seized up again in the set's second game, clutching the knee and in obvious pain.
She got more treatment but eventually called it quits with Knapp leading 6-3, 6-7(6), 4-0.
Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, was also eliminated, losing to Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-4.
Schiavone was surprised to receive a standing ovation after her loss and blamed French Open organizers for announcing she competed at Roland Garros for the last time of her career.
"So Roland Garros announced my retirement, but I didn't," Schiavone said. "So you can stand up all of you and go back to work in the office because I didn't say that. I will announce when I will want to stop."
With files from The Associated Press