NEW HAVEN — Until Monday afternoon, Eugenie Bouchard had not won a match since the semifinals of Wimbledon.
Bouchard, the third-seed at the Connecticut Open and the eighth-ranked player in the world, dispatched Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia, 6-1 6-1 in her first-round match at the Connecticut Tennis Center.
"I was happy to play solid and keep my level up the whole match and get my first win since Wimbledon," said Bouchard, 20, of Canada. "I want to keep the momentum going."
Bouchard will play Australian Samantha Stosur, a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (12-10), 6-2 winner over Kurumi Nara of Japan in an earlier match Monday, in the next round.
In other daytime matches, seventh-seeded Sara Errani lost to Garbine Muguruza of Spain 2-6, 6-3, 1-6 and qualifier Shuai Peng of China beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 6-3.
Injuries have plagued Bouchard since Wimbledon, where she beat Simona Halep in the semifinals and then lost to Petra Kvitova in her first Grand Slam final.
"I have my left thigh taped," Bouchard said. "I've struggled with my knees as well since Wimbledon. It's something I've had on and off for a few years. I struggled with it in Europe. I took a lot of time off after Wimbledon, more than I wanted to really, so that's a contributing factor as well to not training as much."
Bouchard pulled out of the Citi Open in Washington at the end of July, where she was top-seeded, citing a right knee injury. Her first match after Wimbledon was the Rogers Cup in Montreal, the city where she was born and currently resides. She got a first-round bye and lost in the second round to qualifier Shelby Rogers, 0-6, 6-2, 0-6. Then it was onto Cincinnati, where she again got a first-round bye and lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, in the second round.
The losses haven't weighed on her, she said, because she knew she wasn't healthy.
"It's been a struggle to get enough training time in," she said. "I've been pushing to try to play the tournaments I was still supposed to play so it's been a little bit of a struggle. I'm happy to play through it and try to get some matches this week. That's important to me."
She has faced Stosur, ranked 25th in the world, twice, once on hard court in the final in Osaka, Japan last year – where Stosur won — and once on clay in Charleston, where Stosur retired due to injury with Bouchard leading 6-1, 2-0.
"I'm looking forward to a battle," Bouchard said. "We've had a few tough matches. She'll try to take control with her serve and her forehand. I'm going to look to take it early and try to control the point like I did today and really put pressure on her."
Stosur was also happy to get a win Monday. She won in the first round in both Montreal and Cincinnati but then had to face Serena Williams both times in the second round. The first time, she lost 0-6, 2-6, but the second time, she went to a tiebreaker twice against Williams but lost 6-7 (7), 6-7 (7).
"I'm playing much better the last couple of weeks," said Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion. "Last week in Cincy was great. Coming here to get through that match, there were lots of good things. I'm pleased with the way each week's gotten a little bit better. Now I'm trying to win as many matches as possible. A match like this, it's a great feeling to start the week off with.
"It was a very interesting match, I think. I thought [Nara] was playing quite well. She got off to a great start. I didn't feel like I was doing exactly what I should have been doing up to that point. I was just trying to grind it back and grind it back and I was fortunate to get out of that first set, which was great. In the third set, I just came out and thought, 'What do I have to do, what's been working and I'm going to do that more often.' And I was able to play well at the start of the third set and gave me a bit of a cushion there and thankfully closed it out."Copyright © 2015, CT Now