Eugenie Bouchard has stunned the tennis world with her first victory over a top-30 opponent in two years.
The former Wimbledon finalist stretched her winning streak to four matches by beating top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 6-2 in the second round of the Istanbul Tennis Championship on Thursday.
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Ranked 272nd and playing as a qualifier, Bouchard almost let the first set slip from her grasp and squandered three match points in the second before recovering her poise to close out the win.
“What a performance,” one TV commentator said.
“Look at her face, she knows she’s done something pretty special here today.”
She had lost all three previous meetings with Kuznetsova.
Speaking after reaching her third quarter-final of an encouraging year, the 26-year-old said: “That was extremely tough mentally.
“I blocked out mentally that I had missed match-point opportunities, so I had this anger – but I was calm.
“I had this calm anger at the start of the third set. That motivated me – I wanted to do the right thing after messing up. I wanted to make things better.”
Kuznetsova was one of four seeded players knocked out in Thursday's second-round matches.
Bouchard, who reached the Wimbledon final in 2014 but lost to Petra Kvitova, will next face Danka Kovinic in the quarter-finals.
Kovinic eliminated sixth-seeded Alison van Uytvanck 6-3, 6-4.
Bouchard last went on such a run in 2018 when she won six-straight from qualifying to the semi-finals in Luxembourg.
Her resurgence has captured the attention of the tennis world, with fans and pundits stunned by her win over Kuznetsova.
Even the celebration gave 2014 vibes.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 10, 2020
Time to unretire Ana, Caro, Aga, Maria, etc. pic.twitter.com/IZ9PL8BEm9
Would love to see her get back to 2014 form. She’s good for tennis and bringing in new fans— Generic 30 Something Male Tennis Thoughts (@GenericTennis) September 10, 2020
Come on Genie! 🧞♀️— Tennis World 🎾 (@secondserves) September 10, 2020
Holy crap she finally won a match!!— 𝕷𝖔𝖗𝖉 Chris Jones (@Jones_uk) September 10, 2020
Bouchard’s struggles after bursting onto tennis scene
After bursting onto the scene and making it was high as World No.5 in 2014, Bouchard has struggled for consistency and seen her ranking plummet.
She made the Wimbledon final in 2014, as well as the semis at the French and Australian Opens the same year.
However her appearances at grand slam level have been few and far between in recent times.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Rebecca Peterson swept into the quarter-finals when her second-round opponent Margarita Gasparyan retired with a knee injury at 3-2 down in the first set.
Third-seeded Polona Hercog also reached the quarters by beating Jasmine Paolini 7-5, 6-4.
Tereza Martincova produced another surprise result with her defeat of No. 4 Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-4 in 1 hour, 9 minutes.
Patricia Maria Tig knocked out eighth-seeded Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-0.