The last two Canadian women exited the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, with Eugenie Bouchard and Aleksandra Wozniak both suffering fourth-round defeats.
Two forehand errors spelled the end for Montreal’s Bouchard, who lost to sixth-seed Simona Halep of Romania 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
Australian Open winner and top seed Li Na defeated Wozniak of Blainville, Que., 6-1, 6-4, with the Canadian saving ten match points. Li double-faulted on four of the potential match-winners in a dramatic concluding game.
Wozniak, ranked 241 after missing play over the past 18 months due to a shoulder injury, went down fighting in just over 90 minutes as a return sailed long over the baseline.
Wozniak lost the opening set in 32 minutes but pinned Li down with a 3-0 lead in the second before the Chinese player fought back.
The Canadian will prepare for qualifying rounds set for early next week in Miami after using up her final protected tournament entry for this event.
Milos Raonic, Thornhill, Ont., will bid for a quarter-final berth on Wednesday when he plays fifth-seeded Wimbledon winner Andy Murray.
The 20-year-old Bouchard, making her debut in the main draw at the Tennis Garden after losing in the 2013 qualifying rounds, set up a match point for Halep with a forehand wide and drove another one out a point later to end the one-hour 37-minute battle.
Bouchard, ranked a career-high 19 after her Australian Open semi-final, fired seven aces but was weighed down by six double-faults.
“She was very solid, exactly what I expected,” said Bouchard, who will now head to her training base in Florida to prepare for the Miami tournament which starts next week. “She put the pressure on me today, she’s won a lot of titles so she knows how to battle.
“Maybe I don’t deserve it, but I’ll take a day off and get back to practise. Florida is like my second home and I’m looking forward to a good tournament.
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