Eugenie Bouchard has continued her stunning career resurgence at the French Open, knocking out Australia’s last remaining female player with an incredible comeback victory.
Bouchard continued her own comeback story by halting Daria Gavrilova’s in a three-set French Open victory to reach the third round on Wednesday.
The Canadian's 5-7 6-4 6-3 defeat marked the end of Australian women’s hopes in the draw after Astra Sharma had bowed out earlier in the day.
On the comeback from a nagging foot injury, former World No.20 Gavrilova looked set to make a grand slam third round for the first time in over two years.
She rebounded from 1-4 in the first set to take first blood, before former World No.5 Bouchard upped the pressure in an incredibly even contest.
Bouchard is now through to the third round of a grand slam for the first time since January of 2017.
Genie Bouchard beats Daria Gavrilova 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the 3rd round of a Slam for the first time since AusOpen 2017! Playing very well. pic.twitter.com/xNq7iOCosp— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 30, 2020
The Canadian made the semi-finals in Paris and the Australian Open while also making the Wimbledon final in 2014.
She fell off the radar though, with last week’s Istanbul Open finals loss her first decider in four years and enough to earn a wildcard at Roland Garros.
“I'm proud of taking advantage of the opportunities. There are so few tournaments this year. Especially with my ranking, I was very limited with what I could play,” said Bouchard, currently World No.168.
“We're all just so grateful to have jobs, have a big event to kind of end our season.
“You just have to be so grateful for every opportunity. I've tried to push myself in every chance I've had because I know there are so few.”
So hot right now.— Trevor (@Hockey_Expert_) September 30, 2020
Yes Genie! She's so good on clay. I think it's her best surface. She plays #54 Swiatek next for a spot in the 4th round v. #1 Halep.— Trevor sCaredy Scott (@IAmTrevorScott) September 30, 2020
Also a winner today was Gaby Dabrowski in women's doubles. #rolandgarros #FrenchOpen #CdnTennis
Have been super impressed since the return.— Douglas Connors -- Decency First FFS! (he/him) (@calmecam) September 30, 2020
I had a feeling following last year's Rogers Cup that this would be coming this year.
She has put in the work and finally is getting the rewards.#GoodOnHer!
Genie Bouchard's comeback story going to steal the Lou Marsh award from Davies or Jamal Murray— phil verret (@BasketballPhil) September 30, 2020
Wait, dud she really bring the catsuit/bodysuit back? 😊 In all seriousness who doesn't love a comeback story and Bouchard's is as good as any. Gil Reyes backstory should interest more players— jb (@pepsicocom) September 30, 2020
Daria Gavrilova rues missed opportunity
Stuck for options after dropping a golden opportunity, a frustrated Gavrilova admits she isn't sure of her next move.
The 26-year-old admitted “doubts crept in” against Bouchard.
“I had my chances but with a lack of match play I lost focus ... didn't play as tough and my intensity went away and that's where I gave her a second chance and she took it,” she said.
“Physically I had doubts; I was like 'can I do it? I haven't played for a year'. It played on my mind, but in the end I was fine."
“I should have been better ... after the match I was like ‘how the hell did I lose that?’”
Now finally up and running again and confident she can return to the world's top 20, Gavrilova finds herself with nowhere to go thanks to the coronavirus reducing the number of tournaments and limiting spots for lower-ranked players.
It’s left the energetic Australian almost begging for a wildcard to remain in Europe and avoid a detour to lower-level events in the United States, where an eventual return home becomes even more complicated.
“My first thought after I lost was ‘oh shit, where do I go next?’,” she said.
“The uncertainty sucks and two weeks quarantine ... imagine me being stuck in a room for two weeks, that's tough.
“Last year was a disaster - I didn't enjoy it - I really want to play more now, but there's not many tournaments.
“I'm pretty excited about the Australian summer ... hopefully it happens.”
Gavrilova’s loss leaves Marc Polmans as the sole Australian standing in Paris.
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