(7) Eugenie Bouchard vs Irina-Camelia Begu
Sundays first match of the day on Rod Laver Arena sees seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard take on the unheralded Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu. The draw has really opened up for the Canadian, so far she has taken full advantage and will look to continue that in this matchup.
Genie is yet to drop a set this week at Melbourne Park and has been tested in just one set throughout her first three victories.
That test came in the opening set of Genie’s third round match against the dangerous Caroline Garcia. Bouchard was wayward for the majority of the set but she kept going after her shots and it eventually paid off as she took the opening set 7-5.
The second set was far more straightforward for Genie, things began to click for the Canadian as she cruised to a 7-5 6-0 victory. Bouchard has now reached the second week of a Grand Slam on five consecutive occasions, a good sign of consistency and professionalism.
Irina-Camelia Begu has been one of the fairytale stories at this year’s Australian Open. Prior to this event, the 24 year old Romanian had never progressed past the second round at a major.
Begu arrived in Melbourne on the back of two disappointing first up exits, first in Shenzhen and then in qualifying at the Sydney International. No one would have expected the Romanian to reach the fourth round in Melbourne, probably not even herself.
Begu produced one of the upsets of the tournament in the opening round, stunning Angelique Kerber in three topsy-turvy sets. Begu reached the fourth round with an impressive 6-4 6-4 victory over Witthoeft.
Begu certainly has nothing to lose, she has exceeded all expectations this week and can be proud of her efforts regardless of Sunday’s result.
This will be the first career meeting between these two competitors. Eugenie Bouchard will undoubtedly be the heavy favourite and should get the job done in straight sets.
Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets