Zapopan, Jal., March 12. – Although at times she suffered, the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard shined mightily , with her usual dominating game from the back of the court, to impress the Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the first semifinal of the WTA 250 Zapopan Open 2021 with scores of 6-2 and 7-6 (2).
As in her best days in the Top-10 of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the 27-year-old Canadian dominated every aspect of the game, from her powerful 160-kilometer-per-hour serve to playing from the baseline and her two-handed backhand that is practically unstoppable.
For her part, Cocciaretto, at the age of 20 and in search of her first WTA title, did the best she could, trying to attack the right of the Montreal-born, waiting for those moments of lack of control that usually affect her and that cost her valuable points.
In the end, this did not happen and the 2014 Wimbledon Open finalist managed a couple of breaks, in the third and seventh games, to win the set with a resounding 6-2.
In the second set, the native of Ancona, Italy, tried to offset the game of her rival from the back of the court with a more aggressive game, searching to keep her moving with side shots, which seemed to pay out, until the fifth game.
When the game seemed more leveled, Bouchard pressured her rival, attacking her right with depth and with angled balls that almost always found her out of range, with which the Canadian, champion of the Nürnberg Open in 2014, got her first and only break of the set, to get up 3-2 and with the serve in her favor.
However, just when the history of the first set seemed to repeat itself, Cocciaretto threatened with a spectacular comeback, putting pressure on her opponent fighting for each shot and taking advantage of a moment of lack of concentration to break her serve in the tenth game, forcing 40-40 and taking the point on her first break point. 5-5.
With the spirits high and the public divided, the game reached the tiebreak, with Cocciaretto motivated and Bouchard recovering from her momentary low and imposing conditions on the court, to take the tiebreak by a resounding 7-2, that however, does not reflect the fighting spirit of an Italian who never gave up.
Thus, Bouchard, who has not won since last October – when she defeated Australian Daría Gavrilova in the second round of Roland-Garros, is in the seventh final of a WTA tournament in her career and first since Istanbul in 2020, which she lost to Romanian Patricia María Tig.