Shenzhen R2: (6) Eugenie Bouchard vs (Q) Nicole Gibbs
The pick of the second round clashes at the Shenzhen Open on Wednesday sees the sixth seeded Eugenie Bouchard come up against in form American Nicole Gibbs. Bouchard just edged past Donna Vekic in her opening match of the season and will need to raise her level on Wednesday if she is to get past Nicole Gibbs who stormed through the qualifying draw and her first round match.
Eugenie Bouchard held her nerve to claim a crucial 6-4 1-6 7-5 victory over Donna Vekic in her first completed match since the U.S Open. After claiming the first set Bouchard’s level dropped and she found herself trailing 2-4 in the deciding set. Bouchard did well to maintain her composure and raise her level towards the end of the set to fight her way into the next round. Bouchard will need to be much more consistent on Wednesday afternoon, otherwise she is likely to struggle against an opponent who has been in great form.
Nicole Gibbs ended 2015 in style and seems to have carried that form into season 2016. The American easily came through the qualifying draw, dropping just 7 games in her 2 matches. Nicole continued to dominate in her opening round match in the main draw, thumping Tereza Smitkova 6-0 6-2 to set up a clash with Eugenie Bouchard.
This will be the first clash between the pair, it should be an entertaining one. Nicole Gibbs has been in great form however Bouchard will be a big step up in terms of quality of opponent. Bouchard will be relieved to have navigated her way through a tough opening round match and should feel a lot freer in this match. Gibbs will not be given as much time to dictate in this match-up and could struggle to adjust. I suspect Bouchard will raise her level in this match and claim an important victory.