We all know of Eugenie Bouchard’s struggles this year however things aren’t going to get easier for the Canadian as she has slip from her coach Sam Smuyk and needs to get her year back on track and surely there is no worse place than in front of a home crowd where expectations of you are higher than ever and after losing 6-0 2-6 6-0 to Shelby Rogers in the Rogers Cup last year however she faces an even tougher opponent in Belinda Bencic this time round.
Belinda has had a very good year on the tour and the Swiss has continued to improve throughout the year winning her first of many WTA titles in Eastbourne against Agnieszka Radwanska prior to Wimbledon. Bencic likes to sit on the baseline and try to control rallies, she is strong off the forehand and backhand and I’d say her forehand is probably stronger what lets her down in my opinion is her anticipation and movement around the back of the court. Like Bouchard she is better when going forward that’s how she wants to play but she has also shown good defensive qualities something I’m still waiting to see from Bouchard.
I think everyone has been saying since the Wimbledon final and the Wuhan final not long after last year that Bouchard lacks and needs a plan b. I even wrote a piece about it ages ago…
Throughout the season we have seen the same from Bouchard and it’s not working but we haven’t seen any variation at all. Eugenie is quite a powerful player and is quick around the court so in my opinion could sometimes play a bit more defensive a bit like how Angelique Kerber plays.
We see Bouchard standing here (yellow box) an awful lot on the court in rallies which is good but there is an issue with playing like this. Every shot you hit has to hit the target and short balls will be bounced on and constantly sitting up the court gives you little time to hit the ball cleanly and can produce a lot of errors. Maybe as the red box shows step back a bit, maybe just a little bit inside or behind the baseline to stay in rallies instead of trying to rush shots.
As well as this playing a style of tennis where there is little margin for error hitting the lines is brilliant when the ball is in but when the ball goes long or wide it looks awful and it is a fine line sometimes between a winner and an error however that is the potential issue you face going for a small target.
I think this will a really intriguing match. There is pressure on Bouchard to secure the win and she will want to improve her ranking ahead of the US Open otherwise could go into it unseeded which would be a major shock! Confidence is a major factor for me in this one and I predict a Belinda Bencic win!
Oh, winner plays Caroline Wozniacki…