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Eugenie Bouchard wins in first round at ASB Classic

Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount kicked off 2020 with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand on Monday.

It was Bouchard’s first win above a 125K event (the lowest level on the WTA Tour) since last February in Dubai.

Bouchard saved two of three break points and capitilized on three of six break-point opportunities versus the world No. 72.

With her win versus Flipkens, Bouchard – who entered the year ranked 262nd by the Women’s Tennis Association – moves on to the round of 16 to face Caroline Garcia of France, who is ranked 46th in the world by the WTA.

Last month, Bouchard was granted a wild-card spot in the tournament, in which she reached the quarterfinals last year, one of her best results of 2019.

The 25-year-old informed this weekend that she won’t be taking part in the doubles side of the tournament, which she won last year with partner Sofia Kenin of the United States.

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The former Wimbledon finalist, looking to start her resurgence on the women’s tour after dropping to 87 on world rankings, recovered some of her best form in a convincing victory. She shot to an early 3-0 lead in the first set, dropped serve on a couple of unforced errors then picked up momentum again and quickly closed out the set.

The first four games of the second set went again to serve but Bouchard was dominant again when she steadied and put her first serve in play. Brouchard gained in confidence, sending down three unanswered aces and clinching the match against the 88th-ranked Brengle in 71 minutes. She will face either Alison van Uytvanck or qualifier Bibiane Schoofs in the second round.

Tuesday’s draw is highlighted by the first round clash of former World No. 1s Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka and the first appearance of defending champion Julia Goerges.

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