Eugenie Bouchard reacts during her loss to Lauren Davis on Wednesday at the WTA tournament in Charleston. Mic Smith / AP / April 8, 2015
Eugenie Bouchard reacts during her loss to Lauren Davis on Wednesday at the WTA tournament in Charleston. Mic Smith / AP / April 8, 2015

Tennis bits: ‘Not feeling like myself’ Eugenie Bouchard falls flat at WTA Charleston

WTA Charleston

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard slumped to yet another early exit on Wednesday, beaten in her first match in the WTA Family Circle Cup by American Lauren Davis.

Davis, ranked 66th in the world, needed just 67 minutes to subdue the world No 7 6-3, 6-1 and reach the third round.

Bouchard is the top seed in the US$731,000 (Dh2.7 million) tournament on green clay, accepting a late wild card invitation in hopes of honing her game after falling in her first match at Miami.

Instead she endured yet a third opening-match defeat of the season, after also dropping her first match in Antwerp.

She also pulled out of Dubai and Monterrey with a right forearm injury.

“I obviously hate losing, but I’m not going to be too hard on myself,” Bouchard said.

“I know I’ve not been feeling like myself on the court, so it’s just a matter of taking some time now, not playing a tournament, and just taking some time to train and get back to feeling like myself on the court.

“I definitely felt a little bit slow today, overpowered, which is never usually the case. Usually I’m the one who’s dominating. So it was definitely just not good – whatever happened was just not good.”

Bouchard’s status for Canada’s upcoming FedCup World Group play-off tie with Romania was unclear after Tennis Canada on Wednesday named just three players, Francoise Abanda, Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski to the squad.

Bouchard could still be added, but even though she would bring some star power to the tie it doesn’t seem Bouchard would bring the form that saw her reach at least the semi-finals of the first three grand slams of 2014 – becoming Canada’s first grand slam singles finalist at Wimbledon with her runner-up finish to Petra Kvitova.

The tournament also lost second-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova on Wednesday. Makarova held on for a gritty 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over China’s Zhang Shuai. Hours later, however, she pulled out of the tournament complaining of a gastro-intestinal illness.

It was a disappointing end to her first tournament since rising from ninth to eighth in the world rankings on Monday.

Bouchard and Makarova were the only top-10 players in the draw.

Davis, 21, had lost her only prior meeting with Bouchard, but was quick to take control. She won the last 11 games of the contest, breaking Bouchard twice in the final set for the victory.

The American used 18 winners with just five unforced errors to secure the second victory of her career over a top 10 player.

“I knew to beat her I’d have to be fearless,” Davis said. “I saw this as a great opportunity.”

Rising Swiss teen Belinda Bencic also made her exit, falling falling to Danka Kovinic. The world No 35 18-year-old won the opening set 6-4 before falling off 3-6, 2-6 in the loss.

Another 18-year-old, however, scord a victory. World no 195 Sara Sorribes Tormo trumped Shelby Rogers 7-5, 6-1.

Sam Stosur went out 3-6, 6-3, 4-6 to Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino and Sloane Stephens fell victim to Mona Barthel 3-6, 6-7 (2/7).

Sara Errani, Madison Keys, Irina Begu, Madison Brengle and Cristina-Andreea Mitu were the others to reach the last 16 on Wednesday.

ATP Houston

Spain’s Feliciano Lopez got his ATP title defence in Houston off to a smooth start on Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Australian Sam Groth.

Lopez, ranked a career-high 12th in the world and the top seed in the ATP US Clay Court Championships, booked a quarter-final clash with eighth-seeded American Sam Querrey.

“I’m very pleased to be here again,” the 33-year-old Spaniard said.

“I need a few more matches to start moving better and hitting the ball cleaner, but it was very difficult because he was serving huge.

“I think I did quite good overall.”

Querrey advanced with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over compatriot and friend Steve Johnson.

“It’s not fun,” said Querrey of playing a pal. “I’m definitely glad I won, but it doesn’t quite feel the same.”

Third-seeded South African Kevin Anderson, who like Lopez had a first-round bye, defeated Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-7 (4/7), 6-0, 6-3.

“I felt I was moving quite well,” Anderson said. “There were a few sort of hesitancies as far as where I was on clay, and I think I far exceeded that. He was a very tough opponent, so I had my work cut out for me today.”

Anderson next faces seventh-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Japan’s Go Soeda.

“He’s a very talented guy,” Anderson said of Chardy. “We’ve played doubles a few times, so he’s one of my good friends on the tour. I’m going to have to play well.”

ATP Casablanca

Second-seeded Martin Klizan fought his way into the quarter-finals at the ATP Grand Prix Hassan II in Morocco on Tuesday despite a stiff challenge from Dustin Brown.

Big-serving, 6ft 3in Klizan, the world No 41, won a third-set tie break to avance to a meeting with Nicolas Almagro, who sealed his spot with a 7-5, 7-5 dismissal of Carlos Berlocq.

Andreas Haider-Maurer, battling past Pablo Andujar in straight sets, and Bosnian Damir Dzumhur moved on as well after Marcel Granollers retired in the first set down 0-3.

On Thursday top seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will make his bid for the quarters against local hopeful Lamine Ouahab, the world No 313 who upset Robin Haase in the first round.

Jiri Vesely and Mikhail Youzhny, Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Mikhail Kukushkin and Aljaz Beden and Arthur De Greef will face off for the other three quarter-final places.

WTA Katowice

Second and third seeded Alize Cornet and Camila Giorgi each overcame a first-set loss to reach the WTA Katowice Open on Wednesday.

World No 24 Cornet went down 4-6 to Polona Hercog in their opener before storming back 6-1, 6-3 to seal victory. The 34th-ranked Italian Giorgi lost a first-set tie break 6-7 (3/7) before a similar 6-2, 6-3 comeback.

They will be joined by Klara Koukalova, who defeated former world No 2 Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-4, and Belgium’s world No 105 Alison Van Uytvanck who upended 74th-ranked German Carina Witthoft.

Romanian Monica Niculescu also cruised into the second round in the first match of the day past Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets.

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