Rome brings relief for Bouchard as French Open nears

Rome brought relief to top Canadian women’s singles player Eugenie Bouchard on Wednesday, when she won 6-3, 6-4 over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan at the Italian Open.

The win in her favourite city ends a six-match losing skid for Bouchard, the sixth ranked player in the world, who has changed coaches this year amidst early season adjustments that saw losses and frustrations mount. The victory will be welcomed by her camp 11 days out from the start of the French Open, where she reached the semifinals last year.

Eugenie Bouchard at practice for Fed Cup in Montreal on April 15, 2015.

Eugenie Bouchard at practice for Fed Cup in Montreal on April 15, 2015.

In an interview before the tournament began in earnest, Bouchard said « it’s been an up and down kind of year for me. I started out well, but I haven’t been playing so well in matches in the last couple of months. It’s frustrating, because I’ve been doing better in practice and I’ve been doing better in the gym. So I just feel it’ll come – and I don’t want to freak out about it. »

A shade of the uncertainty was present on Wednesday when the Canadian was up 6-3, 5-0. Diyas, ranked 34th in the world, broke Bouchard’s next two serves and consolidated to cut the lead to 5-4. Bouchard regained her composure and served out to win the set and match in the next game.

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It wasn’t a vintage performance from the Canadian, with Diyas winning four break points off Bouchard in the two sets, but the win should restore some confidence for the Canadian as she sets up a marquee match-up Thursday morning against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro (world no. 10) in the third round. Bouchard enjoyed a first round bye.