Eugenie Bouchard of Canada hits a backhand return to Destanee Aiava of Australia during their match at the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 11, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE        (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Eugenie Bouchard looks to fresh start in 2018 after Kooyong win

Posted on January 11, 2018

A strong performance by Eugenie Bouchard with a win against Australian teenager Destanee Aiava in her debut at the Kooyong Classic will giver her some confidence leading in to the Australian Open.


The 23-year-old started fast against the youngster and did not let up closing out the match 6-2 6-0 while tinkering with the technical changes the world No. 83 has made over the off-season.


“I’m still progressing, it’s just a lot of work,” Bouchard told reporters after the match.


“I’ve been practicing a lot, as soon as I lost (in Hobart) I was on the court the next day, that’s just what it takes trying to improve a lot of areas of my game.


“It’s not going to happen overnight.”


Bouchard, who made the semi-finals at the Australian Open in 2014, reached a career high ranking of five in the world that same year and is now eager to put a miserable 2017 season behind her.


The draw of the Grand Slam to be played at Melbourne Park next week will be done on Thursday night and the Canadian will be more than keen to start 2018 with an opening round win at a major.


“I don’t want to feel any kind of continuation from 2017 because it really wasn’t a good year for me, like I said I worked hard in the off-season so that will take time,” Bouchard said.


“For me I was just happy to be out there in a pretty official feeling match with stands, a crowd and an umpire.


“I was just focusing on myself and working on things throughout the match.”


Aiava clearly struggled from the outset and admitted she was tired from playing a lot of matches in the last two months after winning the Australian Open qualifying and playing in the Australian junior’s final.


The 17-year-old who is ranked 153 in the world can take confidence from a strong match against Andrea Petkovic to open the 30th anniversary of the tournament on day one and will now look to her first round at Melbourne Park next week.


“Yeah, she played great, I kind of didn’t play to my level at all,” Aiava said.


“I didn’t really feel like I was at the standard I should be, we’ll move on, I feel like I’m in good form physically, but I think just mentally it’s not there so if I can get that all together by my first-round match, yeah hopefully.


“Well I’m getting older and a lot more experience on the tour as well, so yeah, I do see that I need to take a break (after the Open) though, it’s just hard right now this season is ongoing.”

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