Eugenie Bouchard needs put her hardcourt struggles behind her if she wants to make another deep Grand Slam.
A 59-minute dismantling of Olga Govortsova in the first round of the U.S. Open will certainly go a long way.
Bouchard, the women’s seventh seed from Westmount, Que., steamrolled her way into the second round at Flushing Meadows with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Govortsova on Tuesday.
She produced 19 winners and broke on four of six chances against her 117th-ranked Belarusian opponent, whom she also beat two years ago on hardcourt in Washington.
“It’s definitely never easy in the first round of a Grand Slam, so I’m happy to get a win under my belt,” said the Wimbledon finalist. “I want to get on a roll and keep the momentum going.”
Bouchard, the only woman to reach the semifinals of all three previous Grand Slams this season, defended all three break points she faced while converting four of six break-point chances against Govortsova.
After failing to convert two break points in the fourth game of the first set, Bouchard won four straight games to take the set 6-2.
Two more breaks put Bouchard up 2-0 and 5-1 in the second set, then she finished Govortsova off on her first match point when the Belarusian hit the net.
Bouchard has excelled at Grand Slam events this season, but has struggled on the hardcourt this season winning just one match over three events leading up to the U.S. Open.
“The past few weeks have been a bit of a struggle. I don’t feel like I’m putting too many high expectations on myself,” Bouchard said. “I have the inner confidence that I know if I’m playing as well as I know I can that I can do well.
“I don’t want to set a specific goal to reach a certain round, because every round is so tough here. I always know that I can do well.”
Bouchard, playing the U.S. Open for the second time after winning a round in her 2013 debut, will next play Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
She said that she has put in extra time training in New York after recovering form a hamstring injury which limited her at her previous event in New Haven last week.
“I hurt it during a practice a few days before the event, and really cut down on practise before the event,” she said. “I didn’t feel so good on the match court.
“Since then we taped it, the injury is something that healed pretty quickly, so I was happy. The past five days, six days or so have been great. I really put in a lot of hours of practice here in New York City. I feel like it’s something I needed.”
Later Tuesday, the third-seeded men’s doubles team of Toronto Daniel Nestor and Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic opened against the British duo of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins.