It was a perfect start for Canadians at the Guadalajara Open in Mexico on Sunday evening as Eugenie Bouchard and Leylah Annie Fernandez both advanced to the second round of the WTA 1000 tournament thanks to a pair of convincing wins.
Bouchard was the first to take to the court against home favourite Renata Zarazua who had won the two previous meetings between the two players, in Prague in 2020 and Tampico last season. The third time ended up being the charm for the Montreal native as she scored a 6-1, 7-6(5) victory to move on.
.@geniebouchard wins in straight sets in Guadalajara 🇨🇦😎
Eugenie flies into the second round at the Guadalajara Open 🤠
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) September 18, 2023
Bouchard came out on a mission, winning 12 of the first 14 points in the match to grab a quick 3-0 lead and she ultimately dictated proceedings the rest of the way with a dominant serving performance and impressive ball striking. The only hiccup came when she got tight serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but she recovered nicely in the tiebreak. The 29-year-old built a 4-0 lead and converted her first match point with an ace at 6-5. She lost just 13 points total on serve in the contest.
This will be Bouchard’s second straight appearance in round two at the Guadalajara Open. In 2022, she defeated American qualifier Kayla Day in the opening round before falling to Jelena Ostapenko. This year, she’ll face world no. 17 Veronika Kudermetova who posted only one win during the American summer hard court season and missed Montreal due to injury. The match is set for Monday at 5 p.m. ET on Centre Court.
Fernandez Rolls Past Muhammad
Fernandez followed suit on Sunday night by comfortably defeating American qualifier Asia Muhammad 6-1, 6-3 to advance in just over an hour. Just like her compatriot, the 21-year-old was in charge from start to finish as her opponent, who is primarily a doubles specialist, was unable to make much of an impression in any aspect of the match. She was especially effective coming forward to finish off points at the net and she also used her variety to gain the advantage in quite a few rallies.
This is Fernandez’s first win in Guadalajara and she’ll look to make it two when she goes up against Elise Mertens, seeded no. 13 in the draw. They have faced each other once previously, at the Australian Open in 2021, and it was the Belgian who came out on top.
In addition to Bouchard, Canadians Stacey Fung and Carol Zhao will play their opening round matches on Monday. Fung will make her WTA main draw debut against Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine and Zhao will take on former Grand Slam champion Sofia Kenin of the United States. Fans can watch the action from Guadalajara all week long on TSN and RDS.