2015 has been a difficult year for Bouchard but every player goes through a difficult time in their careers. Bouchard has a win/loss of 7/9 this year and does have quite a few points to defend at Roland Garros. Genie was recently very unlucky against Carla Suarez Navarro in Rome losing in three tight sets and was even serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set and was broken.
Genie faces a very tough challenge in round one in Kristina Mladenovic. I’m a big fan of Kristina she is an exceptional player on the doubles tour and has started to improve on the singles. She was one of my 5 to watch out for in 2015. Going into the final Kristina is in a very good run of form after getting to the final in Nurnberg where she lost to Sam Stosur but had a very good week and will be looking for that to continue on home soil.
Two of Kristina’s main strengths is her serve which she has a lot of variety on with the serve out wide being one of her best in my opinion and her ability to produce magnificent power in rallies. We know Genie likes to step up the court and control the game however if she does play with this tactic then she has to make sure she hit’s the target all the time.
Against Lauren Davis in Charleston we saw Genie step up the court as she does but was making a number of errors and dropping the ball short. If you do this against Mladenovic she does have the weapons to turn defence into attack. Like I said if Genie can hit the corners of the court with the forehand then she stands a very good chance of controlling rallies and getting Mladenovic on the defensive, the last thing you want is Mladenovic inside the baseline controlling rallies with a home crowd behind her!
Do I think Bouchard will beat Mladenovic? I’m not 100% sure she will. It will be a tough match for Genie. If she does come through it then I’d say it will be the biggest win of the year for her especially with the losses she has had and to beat Mladenovic in front of a home crowd will be a huge confidence booster as no one wants to lose in the first round of a Grand Slam event!