WTA Rome, 3rd Round Preview: Carla Suarez Navarro v Eugenie Bouchard

BouchardIt’s been a while since i’ve had the opportunity to write a preview involving Eugenie Bouchard.  The last couple of months have been ROUGH  for Genie.  The world number six had lost her last six matches, of which five had come against players outside of the top 50.  Chuck in handshake gate and it’s been a wacky whirlwind of negativity for Bouchard.  She at least managed to stem the tide with her first win since Indian Wells as she defeated Zarina Diyas in her second round match in Rome, 6-3 6-4.  It was a respectable win although Bouchard had her struggles trying to close out the match as a 5-0 second set lead nearly disappeared.  I hated the handshake stuff but that’s in the past now.  I do respect that Bouchard hasn’t shyed away from her issues on the tennis court and has been refreshingly honest in press.

In the third round, Bouchard faces Carla Suarez Navarro in a Roland Garros rematch from last year.  Suarez Navarro has been in terrific form all year and is currently at number four in the Race to Singapore… FOUR! Suarez Navarro needed three sets to get past Mona Barthel in the first round but had no worries in her second round win over Heather Watson, 6-1 6-1.  This promises to be a really fascinating match after their pivotal quarter-final match at Roland Garros last year where Bouchard came back to prevail, 7-6(4) 2-6 7-5.  On equal measures, it was a massive win for Bouchard and a painful loss for CSN, who had that match on her terms but wilted away under the pressure at the end.

Carla will be the heavy favourite for this match based on recent form but i’m sure that quarter-final match in Paris will be imprinted on her mind.  On the other hand, one win is unlikely to have solved all of Genie’s problems.  When Serena Williams hasn’t been on the other side of the net, Carla has been mentally tough in 2015 and she has won 15 of her 18 three set matches.  The pressure should be off Bouchard somewhat, but beating an in-form Suarez Navarro on clay is likely to be a step too far right now.

Prediction: Suarez Navarro d. Bouchard in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

WTA Rome 3rd round predictions

Serena Williams d. Christina McHale in 2 sets

Maria Sharapova d. Bojana Jovanovski in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)

Victoria Azarenka d. Irina-Camelia Begu in 3 sets

Ekaterina Makarova d. Alexandra Dulgheru in 2 sets

ATP Rome 3rd round predictions

Rafael Nadal d. John Isner in 3 sets

Roger Federer d. Kevin Anderson in 2 sets

Novak Djokovic d. Thomaz Bellucci in 2 sets

David Ferrer d. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in 3 sets

Andy Murray d. David Goffin in 3 sets

Kei Nishikori d. Viktor Troicki in 2 sets

Stan Wawrinka d. Dominic Thiem in 3 sets

Fabio Fognini d. Tomas Berdych in 3 sets *I’m a fool, i’ve been done in by the Fabio again. He was fantastic against Dimitrov today*

46 thoughts on “WTA Rome, 3rd Round Preview: Carla Suarez Navarro v Eugenie Bouchard

    • Rightly said…my money is with CSN too…I hope a shocker doesn’t come into this….with Bouchard you never know, very frequent shock defeats but at times a shock victory too…

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      • Frankly speaking, I have a bad feeling that CSN may lose this one though I said she could win earlier.

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  1. I would just like to make a comment on Bouchard’s fhand,for the life of me I cannot understand why her technique which is woeful has not been corrected over the years.Hopefully her new coach can do something about itCarla will be too strong on clay for Bouchard,also I agree with you James,Carla and her focus and concentraton has improved,one of the reasons that she has had such good solid and consistent results.

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  2. Bouchard isn’t slumping at all. She got most of her points from the Slams. She is performing the same way she always performed by getting knock out in first or second round .

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    • Bouchard is playing like a year ago. She isn’t slumping. It is just that people were overwhelmed by her last year results thinking that she could be the #1 soon by overlooking there are so many equivalent or better players who can beat her. I think CSN will win this one. She is maturing to be a very consistent player. Frankly speaking, I really like watching her single handed backhand, clean and powerful.

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      • Bouchard was doing better at this point last year than she is now. You guys are crazy. Right now shes #35 on the Road to Singapore… she’s due to lose ranking points next week from Nuremberg and a less than great run in Paris will put her out of the top ten.

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    • Not to defend Bouchard here but you can’t honestly say that she is playing the same way she did last year.

      She is not the same player mentally and emotionally(confidence). What is different about Carla from last year, focused, confident and playing better mentally. It is the same with Kerber, with Wozniacki and others. You see what happens when Kvitova loses her head in tournaments . Genie Bouchard was the almost girl from last year, and you can tell her inability to match her own expectations and that placed on her by the media has affected her mentally and emotionally. Those aspects of the game are as important as the talent you have, Serena being a good example.
      Granted there are parts of her game that need improvement(which she is working on), clay court tennis is unforgiving to any player lacking confidence, mental fortitude and stamina( patience). Sharapova wins on clay not because her game is suited for the surface, but mentally she adopts and pushes herself and her game to work.

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      • Bouchard is playing the same but its not working as well as it used to. She’ll turn it around as she was ready to do so in this tournament but won’t reach the same heights as the previous season cuz players adjust. Hitting off the rise at the middle of the baseline is her Plan A. Everyone knows it now.

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    • This one depends on Petra and which Petra is showing up. If she played like the way she played in Madrid. I would say easy 2 sets. If she slips a bit, Jelena may take the opportunity. I think it will be a three sets again.

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    • Jelena finished after I went to bed! Hmmm i’d fancy it to go three sets. JJ has given Petra trouble in the past and it’s clay. I’d go Petra in 3.

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  3. I like your tennis website. I come here lots in conjunction with my other sources. How come you don’t do doubles tennis? There are some hot double teams like hingis\mirza, and safarova\sands. How far you think they will make it this time? Also I’m not so sure about sharapova. She is playing someone who just beat Carolina Garcia and Madison keys as a huge 5.5:1 dog. I think sharapova will probably win but it won’t be as easy as people think.

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    • Thanks, i’d love to follow more doubles and there’s a gap in the blogging world for this but unfortunately as it comes down to most things, not enough time! I’m planning to cover a lot more things during Wimbledon.

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  4. It’s always difficult to play good tennis if players having under pressure or win less for months. Of course, she is not played the outstanding tennis but we must congrats her. Because she overcame her win less situation and finally beat someone.

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    • I’d say there’s a chance at least, beating Kerber in straight sets was a good result… we immediately think ohhh what happened to Kerber but Begu may have played a great match, we just don’t know! Begu continues to go under the radar.

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    • It’s Azarenka for me, Kerber is feeling the effects of her adventures these past couple of months. Begu can be tenacious, but I like Victoria’s chances.

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    • I think Begu is possible to take one set because her ground strokes are quite strong and deep unlike Caro. Begu’s problem is very inconsistent. I think Vika will win this one.

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  5. What a H-I-L-A-R-i-O-U-S match. Honestly, I could’t stop laughing when Bouchard doublefaulted on MP – that was almost predictable. I had the feeling that neither of the two wanted the win. Altogether it was a really entertaining match. That’s gonna hurt Bouchard. She served for the match THREE times and she didn’t fail because of Carla playing particularly well but simply because of choking. I mean I really don’t like Bouchard but I felt sorry for her because she wasn’t playing bad at all in the first set and it’s a pity to see someone playing with absolutely no confidence towards the end of matches. I remember she was one of the best finishers last year, so I wonder what happened in between the years? You don’t become mentally fragile from one moment to the other…

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    • Bouchard hyped herself up far too much. The press turning against her was inevitable and now she can’t back up her own cockiness.
      I also think her style of play is not reliable. She should do what Sharapova did and work on her strength and shift to a striking game as opposed to trying to take on everything so early and aggressively.

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      • Andrew, don’t you think Sharapova’s style is influenced by her past injuries( including shoulder problems). I feel Bouchard is still young enough to finesse her game.
        Personally, I wish she never looked up to Sharapova on Tour. Sharapova is who she is, no friends on the tour etc. Genie was friendly and herself in her junior days, winning slams along the way. She turns pro and goes all Maria-esque. Maria does Maria, Genie has to do Genie and be herself, play her own game and for pet’s sake develop a wining strategy. Some call it a plan B, for those tough times.

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      • Well Bouchard as a junior actually played like Caroline Wozniacki, not Maria Sharapova. That was a change that was implemented at the end of 2013 as it was felt she didn’t have any big weapons and her defensive game wasn’t going to take her to #1. So she started stepping in and attacking everything, as Sharapova did back circa 2004-2008.
        I think Maria made the right decision by switching her game style, though yes, it was clearly a case of covering her injuries. She could no longer rely on a big serve, something Bouchard doesn’t have either.

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      • Interesting point. I always though Bouchard was more of a counter puncher when she first broke through in 2013. Serve is an issue, I agree.

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      • Sharapova has no friends on tour? Lol. I am sure she has many friends outside the tour. And why do you need friends from the tour? friends can come from anywhere. I think she is an exceptional individual. I dont think she is the best tennis player by any standards but she is good, she is decent.
        And as a human being being surrounded by so much success and so much media attention and a ton of money (richest female athlete I guess) the way she carries herself is remarkable. In all these years she has carried herself with dignity, never heard of her or her entourage getting into any unnecessary fights.
        No one, and I mean no one comes close to her fashion sense on the tour, her outfits are incredible, especially her outfits at Wimbledon are very good. I liked what she wore at this year’s Australian Open, when almost everyone went for the neon colors which in my opinion are not very flattering.
        She has won all the majors which is not an easy task. She is a fighter, I like her. I never used to like her but I have grown to appreciate her as an individual.
        People are either on Serena’s side or Maria’s side. I like them both, I think Serena is the best tennis player of all time male or female. Serena’s tennis is incredible to watch, she is the best when it comes to tennis. I also think she is a good human being.
        I have a feeling Maria will beat Serena this year.

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    • LoL , Petra Kvitova would beg to differ. She fell apart after beating Sharapova at Wimbledon. It’s really what happens in between the ears. It maybe a comedown or letdown or an inability to cope with the reality that comes along with it. Ivanovic suffered something similar. In addition to physios I think some of the girls also need some kind of zen master or psychologist to help them with the mental side.

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      • Ahh Maria beating Serena? that would be the day haha. Imo Serena would definitely have had 2nd thoughts about withdrawing were she to play Maria today. I think she also wanted to protect her future vs her opponents by not allowing any mental edge or confidence to Mchale win/lose who seems to be in form.

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    • Imo Gavrilova wouldn’t be prey to Bacsinszky’s wily tricks of pushing her opponents cuz although pumped up and inspired is still a very down to earth player who knows what her game’s about. Thats a dangerous combo for any opponent esp if she’s zoned in.

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  6. After the first set I thought it was the best set of tennis I have seen Bouchard play,then it quickly went downhill from there,Bouchard had the match on her racquet,back to the drawing board Bouchard.

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    • It probably gased her out-winning the 1st set. Standing so far from the baseline had its long term rewards it seems for CSN. idk-I’m just thinking of how Nadal wins doing the same looking backfooted for most of the match until you see teh opponent hitting UE’s every other shot.

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      • I have it that if the agressor doesn’t win the 1st set by 2+ breaks in this scenario they’re in for a tough match ahead. Just looking at Nadal’s scorelines on clay. This seems to fit that pattern.

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