Eugenie Bouchard eliminated from French Open
Canadian falls to 8th-seeded Bacsinszky in 2nd round
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard made an early exit from the French Open for the second straight year on Thursday, dropping a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Timea Bacsinszky in second-round play at the Grand Slam event.
Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., made the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2014 but lost in the first round last year.
On Thursday, she jumped out to a 4-1 lead before dropping 10 games in a row to the No. 8 seed from Switzerland. Bouchard fought back by taking four straight games to get to 4-5 before Bacsinszky closed out the victory.
"It's unacceptable really to lose 10 games in a row in a match," Bouchard said. "I think my [lack of] focus was the part that let me down — the mental part. It's something I've been working on and I have been getting better."
A French Open semifinalist last year, Bacsinszky was up 5-0 and serving for the win when Bouchard picked up a service break. Bouchard saved a match point and earned two break points that would have levelled the score at 5-5 but she failed to convert.
"As soon as I relaxed and played my game, I was coming out on top on a lot of the points," Bouchard said. "So I just wish I had that mentality a bit earlier in the match (rather) than four points away from losing."
Bouchard was ranked seventh in the world at the end of 2014, but the 22-year-old Canadian slipped out of the top 40 in 2015 and struggled with an eating disorder she says she has since conquered. She currently holds the No. 47 position in the world rankings.
"What's the most disappointing is my game feels good, my shots feel good, I feel good on the court," Bouchard said. "So yeah, that's what hurts the most. I felt like I put myself in a good position in preparation and everything. I've done everything that I possibly could to be ready. I started out strong. The game plan was working."
It was the first victory for Bacsinszky on the Philippe-Chatrier Court.
"There is a lot of space around the court," she said. "Even though I warmed up 30 minutes in the morning, I couldn't get the groove and she had different tactics in comparison to the last time I played against her.
"She expected me to put a lot of variation in my game so I had to find another game plan in order to get the upper hand."
Bouchard's loss leaves Milos Raonic as the lone Canadian remaining in the singles draws in Paris. The No. 8 seed will play Slovakia's Andrej Martin in the third round of the men's tournament on Friday.
In men's doubles Thursday, Canadian Vasek Pospisil and his American teammate Jack Sock won their opening-round match 6-1, 7-5 over Thomaz Bellucci and Martin Klizan.
Canadians Daniel Nestor and Gabriela Dabrowski were victorious in their respective doubles openers on Wednesday.
Djokovic gets win No. 50
Novak Djokovic is now the seventh man with at least 50 match wins in the French Open.
Next on his agenda: joining the other six on that list with a title at Roland Garros.
Trying to complete a career Grand Slam, the top-seeded Djokovic moved into the third round by beating 161st-ranked qualifier Steve Darcis of Belgium 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, overcoming 42 unforced errors on a windy afternoon.
That improved Djokovic's career record in the clay-court tournament to 50-11. He's made it to the final three times in the past four years but lost each time.
The other men with 50 victories at the French Open — Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Guillermo Vilas, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Nicola Pietrangeli — all won the championship at some point.
Serena works clean
Defending champion Serena Williams picked up a quick, clean victory to reach the third round.
Williams needed only 66 minutes to beat 81st-ranked Teliana Pereira of Brazil 6-2, 6-1, piling up a 31-6 edge in winners.
In the first set, Williams had 22 of those winners, compared to only three unforced errors.
Williams is trying to win her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would equal Steffi Graf's Open-era record.
Nadal hits milestone
Once Rafael Nadal got past the briefest of slow starts, he was just fine, easily collecting the 200th Grand Slam match victory of his career.
Nadal fell behind 2-0 against 99th-ranked Facundo Bagnis of Argentina, then cleaned up his act and took 14 of the next 15 games Thursday en route to winning 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 in the second round.
Nadal has won 200 of 230 matches in majors, a winning percentage of .870. Only seven other men have earned that many victories at Grand Slam tournaments; Roger Federer holds the record of 302.
The fourth-seeded Nadal owns 14 Grand Slam titles — tied with Pete Sampras for second-most behind Federer's 17 — including a record nine at Roland Garros.
Venus Williams is into third round of the French Open for the first time since 2010.
The seven-time major champion, seeded ninth, overpowered 20-year-old American qualifier Louisa Chirico 6-2, 6-1 in 54 minutes at Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Williams, who turns 36 next month, was the runner-up to her younger sister Serena at the 2002 French Open. But Venus hasn't enjoyed much success at Roland Garros lately — losing in the first or second round every year from 2012-15, and missing the tournament in 2011.
Venus' victory came right after Serena won her second-round match by the same score and on the same court.
The siblings potentially could face each other in the semifinals.
Tsonga battles back
Sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied from two sets down against Marcos Baghdatis to reach the third round for the eighth consecutive year.
In a matchup between two former Australian Open runner-ups, Tsonga prevailed 6-7 (6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to complete a 100th Grand Slam match win.
Only two other Frenchmen have achieved the feat: Jean Borotra (103) and Henri Cochet (102), well before the Open era started.
It was the third time that Tsonga recovered from a two-set deficit, while Baghdatis had never lost a match when up two sets to love.
With files from CBC Sports and The Associated Press