Toronto R1: Eugenie Bouchard vs Belinda Bencic
A fascinating first round matchup in the Canadian capital sees Eugenie Bouchard come up against Belinda Bencic. The Canadian number 1 will be looking to make amends for her horror first round loss at the Rogers Cup last year, but more importantly, reverse a horror run of results in the first half of the year.
Eugenie Bouchard arrives in Toronto with a new coach by her side (Marko Dragic). The Canadian has parted ways with Sam Sumyk after amassing a horrendous 4-13 win/loss record under his guidance since the Australian Open. Bouchard will be looking to put the first half of the season behind her and will benefit from having few points to defend and lower expectations placed upon herself during the North American swing.
In contrast to Bouchard, Belinda Bencic’s first half of the season was anything but disappointing. Bencic recently reached a career high ranking of 21 in the world after claiming her first career title in Eastbourne. Bencic kick-started her U.S Open series in Washington last week, suffering a second round loss to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova but claiming the doubles title alongside Kristina Mladenovic.
This will the second career meeting between Bouchard and Bencic. Their first encounter took place just a couple of months ago in Eastbourne, Bouchard was forced to retire early in the second set, handing Bencic a victory on route to her first career title.
This is an extremely important match, particularly for Bouchard. The Canadian’s poor form can be tracked back to her shock first up loss to Shelby Rogers at the Rogers Cup last year. Bouchard will be desperate to avoid another first round loss, keen to build momentum with a victory to start her U.S Open series.
Recent form suggests that Bencic will win this, however Bouchard is extremely competitive and I expect her to rebound strongly over the next couple of months, starting with a victory over Bencic.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Belinda Bencic in 3 sets