Fri July 20, 2018
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Sports

AFP
January 12, 2018

Share

Advertisement

Bouchard tastes first win of the year

MELBOURNE: Struggling star Eugenie Bouchard won her first match of the year Thursday, posting a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Australian teen Destanee Aiava at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

The Canadian had gone down in three group matches last week at the Hopman Cup in Perth, where she suffered a buttock injury, and was eliminated in the first round at Hobart on Monday, denting her Australian Open preparations.

“I was happy to be out there in a pretty official-feeling match,” said the 23-year-old. “There were stands, a crowd, and an umpire. It was like a practice match but kind of real.” With time running out for her to be ready for the opening Grand Slam of the year, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist, now ranked 83rd after a dismal last season, eagerly accepted a late invitation for a hit-out at Kooyong, a non-tour event.

Bouchard, who made the Australian Open semi-finals in 2015 and the quarters a year later, said her game was a work in progress after changing her routine and coaches in the off-season. “It’s progressing,” she said. “I was just focusing on myself and the things I have to work on throughout the match.” The Canadian, who said her buttock injury was now fine, added that she was keen to eliminate all memories of a poor 2017 campaign.

“I don’t want to feel any continuation of 2017, it really wasn’t a good year for me. I worked hard in the off-season, changing some things,” she said. In other matches at the exhibition event, France’s Richard Gasquet won his second match, overcoming Australian Matthew Ebden 6-4, 7-6 (7/4). Gasquet has never gone past the Australian Open fourth round. World number five Dominic Thiem, meanwhile, withdrew from his scheduled match as he recovers from illness, disrupting his Grand Slam plans.

The Austrian arrived late in Melbourne from Doha after pulling out prior to last weekend’s Qatar Open semi-final with Gael Monfils after contracting a virus. He lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic on Wednesday and decided against playing any more matches. Thiem’s substitute, Russian Andrey Rublev, beat Lucas Pouille of France 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Nadal top seed, Djokovic 14th at Aussie Open: Six-time champion Novak Djokovic will lurk as 14th seed for next week’s Australian Open in Melbourne, with Rafael Nadal seeded top, organisers said on Thursday. Nadal heads defending champion Roger Federer at the top of the men’s seedings, with Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki seeded one and two in the women’s competition. The seedings have gone largely according to the ATP world rankings, although Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori are out injured and women’s champion Serena Williams opted not to play after giving birth in September.

Djokovic made a winning return on Wednesday after six months out with an elbow injury, declaring he felt “great” after beating world number five Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic. It was the 12-time Grand Slam winner’s first competitive outing since losing a Wimbledon quarter-final to Tomas Berdych last July. The Serbian former world number one had pulled out of a warm-up tournament in Abu Dhabi, raising concerns over his fitness ahead of the year’s opening Grand Slam.

Federer, seeded second, and will bid for his 20th Grand Slam title in the bottom half of the draw. Former winner Stan Wawrinka, who hasn’t played since Wimbledon but said he has recovered sufficiently from a knee injury, is seeded at nine. In a women’s field notably missing 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, there appear to be many chances of a new Australian Open champion this year. Seven-time champion Williams announced last week she wouldn’t defend her title, saying she was “super close” but not quite ready to compete so soon after becoming a mother.Spain’s Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is seeded three, while Serena’s sister Venus has the fifth seeding.

Advertisement

Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement

Topstory

Opinion

Newspost

Editorial

National

World

Sports

Business

Karachi

Lahore

Islamabad

Peshawar