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09 December 2023

Dominant Eugenie powers into Australian Open third round

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard hits a return against Anne-Lena Friedsam of Germany during their women's singles match on day one of the 2015 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 19, 2015. (AFP)


Rising star Eugenie Bouchard demolished Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 6-0, 6-3 to power into the Australian Open third round Wednesday as she hunts for a maiden Grand Slam title.

The Canadian seventh seed confirmed her growing status with the most one-sided display seen so far at this year's season-opening Grand Slam, utterly dominating an opponent ranked 72 in the world.

Cheered on by the 'Eugenie Army', Bouchard overwhelmed Bertens from the outset, hitting 10 winners to three as she ran away with the first set 6-0 after 23 minutes.

Her dominance continued in the second, although Bertens at least managed get on the scoreboard with three games to avoid the dreaded 'double bagel'.

"I lost my focus a little bit and that's really unacceptable, I'll make sure that doesn't happen again and make it quicker for you guys," the Canadian joked.

"I'm really hard on myself, a bit of a perfectionist - that's a good quality, no?"

The emphatic win builds on a first-round performance that Bouchard rated only "solid", with the world number seven saying she was gaining confidence as she looks to improve on last year's semi-final performance.

"I am. I had a great off-season. I had a break from the tennis tour, which is always nice, but I was anxious to get back and the Australian Open is a great way to start the year."

Bouchard also reached the final four at Roland Garros and the Wimbledon decider last year, becoming the woman tipped as the most likely to join the Grand Slam club in the near future.

Her round three opponent will be world number 36 Caroline Garcia of France, who beat the Canadian in their only previous meeting last year at the Acapulco quarter-finals.

"I know it's going to be super tough, she's a good up-and-comer," Bouchard said. "She'll definitely do some big shots and play well. It's up to me to try to try to focus on my game and play aggressive."

A potential quarter-final looms against second seed Maria Sharapova, who has a 3-0 record over Bouchard but struggled in her second round match Wednesday, with the Canadian saying she was not looking too far ahead.

"That's far off in the future," she said of a possible showdown with the Russian. "I just have a match on Friday (against Garcia) and that's all I'm concerned about."