Women’s Australian Open, R2 Preview for Wednesday: Agnieszka Radwanska v Eugenie Bouchard

Bouchard

Wednesday’s blockbuster match will see Agnieszka Radwanska face her first significant test of the Australian Open when she plays Eugenie Bouchard in the first night match on Rod Laver Arena. After a battering of a 2015 season, Bouchard finished the year barely inside the world’s top 50 at number 48 in the world. It had all started quite promisingly; a victory over Serena Williams in the Hopman Cup was followed by a decent enough run to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. From then on, it was pretty much downhill with a run of six straight losses between Indian Wells and Rome, and first round defeats at the French Open and Wimbledon. Some of these losses were crushing, particularly the ones against Suárez Navarro in Rome and Shvedova in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

When it looked things couldn’t get any worse, Bouchard succumbed to a 6-1 6-0 loss to Roberta Vinci in New Haven. The one ray of sunshine was the US Open where she put in a gutsy display to beat Dominika Cibulkova to reach the second week. However, her week was cut short due to concussion after a fall in the locker room, which effectively ended her season. A new year comes a new start and with the pressure subsiding, Bouchard has already begun the 2016 season in encouraging form. A quarter-final appearance in Shenzhen was swiftly followed by a run to the finals in Hobart where she played some aggressive and consistent tennis, beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Camila Giorgi and Dominika Cibulkova. While she didn’t get up for the final, Bouchard continued to display her improved form in the first round of the Australian Open, beating Aleksandra Krunic, 6-3 6-4, in 66 minutes.

Radwanska remains unbeaten in 2016 after winning her first title of the year in Shenzhen followed by a first round win in Melbourne against Christina McHale, 6-3 6-2. It was a solid enough performance as first rounds go, producing more winners than errors. McHale offered up some resistance, breaking Radwanska’s serve on four separate occasions. McHale also had a great opening at 3-3 30-0* on Radwanska’s serve and was in control of the point with the number four seed on the back foot, but McHale missed one of many sitters.

Head-to-head record: In their only previous match, Radwanska defeated Bouchard in Madrid in 2014, 7-6(3) 6-2.

Interesting stat: This time last year, Radwanska and Bouchard were side-by-side in the rankings with Radwanska at 6 and Bouchard at 7. While Bouchard went on to have a terrible 2015 season, she’s started 2016 with a flourish and she was the only player to reach at least the quarter-finals in the first two weeks of the season.

Analysis: This will be a significant test of Radwanska’s credentials. Bouchard’s status has completely turned on its head and she obviously goes into this match as the underdog. I’d say she has nothing to lose but Bouchard is defending quarter-final points! After this tournament though, Bouchard will have ground to make up on pretty much every tournament up to the US Open. On this occasion, I think Radwanska will be too solid.

Prediction: Radwanska d. Bouchard in 2 sets

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12 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, R2 Preview for Wednesday: Agnieszka Radwanska v Eugenie Bouchard

  1. I think the courts suit Radwanska. This year and last they’ve played pretty quick. I think Bouchard could beat Radwanska if she can keep the errors right down and serve well, but its unlikely.

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  2. I’m not sold on Bouchard yet. I haven’t seen any improvement in her game. Aga in two sets or Bouchard put together a spectacular game.

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  3. Radwanska didnt look herself in her first round match, she played poorly by her standards. If she plays the same way then Bouchard has a chance. If Radwanska plays well, then she can draw errors from Genie!

    On another note, GARCIA IS OUT, not surprised in the least!

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    • Well Genie said she was channeling her 18 year old self, playing like she has nothing to lose this time around. That attitude is what may trouble Aga Radwanska if she doesn’t stay within herself and play her style of tennis. I can see three sets here.

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      • I just think Aga’s instincts are too good for Bouchard, who won matches in 2014 based on how early she took the ball and thus unsettle her opponents. Radwanska likes to play fast and with no rhythym. Unless she throws in a stinker, which she has been prone to of late.

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  4. **The court speed in RL and MC stadiums is slower than other courts.

    Radwanska doesn’t look very sharp in her first match. Bouchard can be dangerous. If Bouchard doesn’t flop, either a three sets or Bouchard may take it (I may be wrong).

    Xinyun Han was trained under Carlos in Beijing in the last 3 months during the winter season. I don’t consider this as an upset but she can beat Yulia. They play at Show Court 2 today. The court is faster than RL and MC so Han may like it but not for the pusher.

    Daria vs Kvitova – a potential upset. Daria has the ability to do it. Furthermore, they play at MC, the court is slower. It may favour Daria.

    Davis vs Rybarikova – a potential upset because Rybarikova is unpredictable. I like Davis new attacking games. This match will go three sets (play at Show Court 3 – fast court, so it favours Davis).

    Suarez Navarro didn’t look great and play great in her first match. Golubic was inexperienced in her slam debut but Sakkari can give her troubles.

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  5. Bondarenko……i’ve pretty much never seen her play before, and man did i pick the right time to tune in! Her performance up to 6-1, 4-1 was genuinely top 5 in the world quality, possibly even better than that. very interested to see if she can close out form here now having been pulled back to 4-3 in the second set. if she does, noone is going to look forward to playing her

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  6. Radwanska’s draw is tougher and tougher. I was impressed by how she improved game by game against Bouchard and didnt take the back seat.

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