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Eugenie Bouchard dominates Dominika Cibulkova at Rogers Cup

MONTREALCanadian Eugenie Bouchard continued her run at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday.

For the second day in a row, Bouchard upset a higher-ranked opponent as she defeated top-10 player Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-0 in one hour and 14 minutes.

Cibulkova is 10th in the WTA rankings while Bouchard is 42nd.

The Westmount, Que., native is through to the third round at the Rogers Cup for the first time in her career.

In the opening round on Tuesday, Bouchard surprised the hometown fans by getting the better of 28th-ranked Lucie Safarova.

Playing some of her best tennis in months, the 22-year-old made quick work of Cibulkova in the 36-minute first set, twice breaking her opponent’s serve.

Bouchard was aggressive and dictated play, while Cibulkova struggled with her service game and accumulated unforced errors. Playing with confidence, Bouchard was even more dominant in a second set marked by several lengthy rallies.

Fans rose to their feet on two occasions in the set, namely after Bouchard returned two improbable balls in the fifth game to break Cibulkova and go up 5-0.

On triple match point, the Canadian gave Cibulkova no chance with a powerful forehand down the line.

Bouchard will now face 121st-ranked qualifier Kristina Kucova, who stunned eighth-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Bouchard is the only Canadian on the women’s side remaining at the $ 2.4-million Rogers Cup after Francoise Abanda was eliminated earlier on Wednesday.

Abanda lost her second-round match 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3) against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina. The 19-year-old, ranked 270th in the world, dropped a nail-biter in front of her hometown fans, pushing both sets to a tiebreak.

“I had a lot of chances to win that second set,” said Abanda, who beat 66th-ranked Saisai Zheng in the opening round. “I could have definitely pushed it further. I felt mentally strained when I got to that second set. During key moments of the match, I just missed the mark.”

Meanwhile, Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Alla Kudryavtseva 7-5, 6-0, and Johanna Konta got past Vania King in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

After earning a bye in the first round, sixth-ranked Venus Williams breezed through her second-round match. The American dominated her opponent Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-0, needing just 58 minutes to complete the encounter.

“It was definitely more straightforward than some of our other matches,” said Williams, who is off to the Olympic Games in Rio following the Rogers Cup. “I’m never happy with my matches. Even an easy scoreline is never enough. But it’s about figuring out how to win instead of playing perfect.”

Williams will next face Madison Keys, who topped fellow American Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-3.

Earlier in the day, fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska downed Monica Niculescu 6-1, 7-5.

Romanian Simona Halep, one of the tournament favourites, beat Daria Gavrilova in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Karolina Pliskova.

The 14th-ranked Pliskova jumped into the third round after her second-round opponent Sara Errani was forced to retire with neck stiffness.

Also, Roberta Vinci came from behind to defeat fellow Italian Camila Giorgi 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.


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