Tennis: Bouchard battles through

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Canadian seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard survived another epic scrap at the US Open to beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and make the fourth round in New York.
Bouchard was pushed all the way in her first night match at Flushing Meadows a couple of days ago, and Saturday night provided more of the same as she eventually came through with a 6-2 6-7 (2/7) 6-4 success.
There is no doubting the mental toughness of the 20-year-old Canadian, though and she showed it once again despite looking in big trouble in the third set.
Zahlavova Strycova led 30-0 on her serve at 4-4 having just broken Bouchard but she tightened up and paid for it dearly.
Bouchard, who next plays 17th seed Ekaterina Makarova, said: “I feel like I pulled myself together at the very, very end tonight.
“She got a lot of balls back. She made me work for it. At the same time she would occasionally come to the net, mix things up.
“It was the kind of variety I haven’t seen much of. Generally most opponents don’t do that so it was a little different.
“But I’m just proud at least that I could battle. Even if it’s a little bit ugly or I don’t feel great, I can still pull it out, which made me happy.”
Azarenka through Two-time runner-up Victoria Azarenka looks to be playing herself into form at the right time after an injury-hit season as she hammered who hammered Elena Vesnina 6-1 6-1.
She will now face Aleksandra Krunic in the next round, who conquered Petra Kvitova earlier in the day.
Azarenka said of Krunic: “She obviously is playing great tennis and is really inspired here, winning so many matches in a row and upsetting such a great player. So it’s going to be tough. I think it’s always tricky when you don’t know your opponent.”
Eleventh seed Flavia Pennetta was a semi-finalist last season and is enjoying another good run, beating American Nicole Gibbs 6-4 6-0.
In the fourth round the Italian faces Australian Casey Dellacqua, who has risen almost 100 places in the rankings this year and defeated Ana Ivanovic’s conqueror Karolina Pliskova 6-3 3-6 6-4.

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