GSTAAD (SWITZERLAND), July 18: Eugenie Bouchard quelled a home threat at the Gstaad WTA tournament on Tuesday, fighting back to beat Timea Bacsinszky 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 for a second-round place.
The 146th-ranked Canadian who played the Wimbledon final four years ago but has since suffered through season after season of disappointment and a tumbling ranking, spent more than two and three-quarter hours in overcoming two-time Roland Garros semifinalist Bacsinszky.
The Swiss who once stood ninth in the world, missed the entire clay and grass season after tearing her right calf muscle during a match warm-up in Rabat last spring.
She has played � and lost � only five matches this season � her ranking stands at 761. Bouchard exited in the Wimbledon second round a fortnight ago, then switched to clay last week by entering a lower-level event, where she also lost her opening match.
Despite her clay victory, the 24-year-old is keeping any hopes of turning her career round on an extremely low simmer.
�All the conditions were against me,� said the former member of the ranking Top 5.
�She is Swiss, playing at home as a former Top 10 player on her favourite surface. It was a battle. I can�t compare this match to any previous (recent) ones.
�All I know is I had to battle.�
Bouchard lost the opening set in 44 minutes despite taking the early lead on a break and was severely tested in the second.
That set featured six breaks of serve, with Bouchard again losing an early break and eventually forced to play a tiebreaker.
Though she did not consider the decider a particularly key factor, Bouchard won it handily to get right back into the fight as light began to fade in this VIP alpine village populated by both jet-setters and local farmers.
Bouchard went up a break in the third set, racing away to 4-1, but was reeled in to 4-3 by the home player.
The Canadian earned a match point from a Swiss double-fault while leading 5-3; Bacsinszky saved it with a service winner.
Bouchard kept up her quest as light faded, earning a second concluding chance and coming good with a forehand winner against the former tournament semifinalist.
�I didn�t consider anything a turning point, I was just trying to play better,� Bouchard said.
�I didn�t play well last week and practice has not been great this week.� � AFP