Eugenie Bouchard and Karolina Pliskova recorded contrasting wins in their respective opening round campaigns of the 2019 season.
While the former Wimbledon runner-up Bouchard registered a straight-set 6-3, 6-3 win over USA’s Madison Brengle at the Auckland ASB Classic, Pliskova needed to fight back from a set and a break in the second down to make a comeback victory.
Pliskova defeated Yulia Putintseva 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the second round.
Bouchard Begins Her Comeback Trail Well
The Canadian had had a golden start to her career when she catapulted to the top five of the WTA Rankings back in 2014 after making it to the Wimbledon final. While she lost that final to Petra Kvitova, Bouchard’s career looked to have taken off.
However, a combination of factors including injuries looked to have distracted her from her focus and she endured a free-fall in her rankings till 2018. It was towards the second half of the season that Bouchard began her comeback trail with a semi-final presence at the Luxembourg Open and that pulled her ranking back inside the top 100.
She had recently spoken of the need to focus on her main priority, tennis, and looked to have begun well with her first round win. Bouchard will now take on the winner of the match between the eighth seeded Alison Van Uytvanck and a qualifier.
Pliskova Aims for a Better 2019
Having taken over the number one spot for a little while in 2017, the world number five Pliskova will hope she has a better 2019 than she did in 2018. A quarter-final at the Australian and US Open would have helped her cause but for a player gunning for a maiden Grand Slam title, that might not have been enough.
After all there were third and fourth round losses at the other two Grand Slams as well.
The Czech won two titles in 2018, at the Stuttgart Open and the Pan Pacific Open while being a finalist at Tianjin and will hope she can kick-start her 2019 campaign on the back of this fighting win over Putintseva.
Pliskova will now take on either Australia’s Samantha Stosur or Marie Bouzkova in her second round match.