MELBOURNE, Australia – A resurgent Eugenie Bouchard continued her injury comeback with a straight sets win in first round action at the Australian Open.
The 21 year old from Westmount, Que. dispatched Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic 6-3, 6-4 in just over an hour, hitting 14 winners, along with 14 unforced errors.
The 37th-ranked Bouchard is playing in only her fourth tournament since sustaining a concussion when she fell in the dressing room at last year’s U.S. Open.
She next will face Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in second round play. Radwanska got through the first round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Christina McHale of the United States
Earlier this month Bouchard made it to the quarterfinals at the Shenzen Open and then followed that up by reaching the final at the Hobart International.
In men’s singles action, Canadian Vasek Pospisil was eliminated at Melbourne Park, falling in four sets to France’s Gilles Simon on Monday in first-round action.
The 25-year-old from Vancouver was beaten by his 14th-ranked opponent, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 2-6, 4-6, in a match that lasted two hours, 47 minutes. Unforced errors cost Pospisil heavily – he had 55 of them compared to just 18 for Simon.
Pospisil used his powerful serve to win the first set in 45 minutes. He held an 8-0 edge in aces but committed 16 unforced errors.
Trailing 3-1 in the second set, Pospisil called a medical timeout and went through stretching exercises on his lower body with a trainer, but returned to play shortly after. Simon went on to win the set in 52 minutes as Pospisil made 17 more unforced errors compared to the Frenchman’s three.
Simon needed only 31 minutes to win the third set and 39 minutes to take the fourth, which ended when Pospisil returned a serve long on match point.
Pospisil held the edge in aces 19-2, and winners 45-12, but was undone by his own mistakes.
Meanwhile, Milos Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., opens his tournament against France’s Lucas Pouille on Tuesday.