Eugenie Bouchard’s tennis comeback is continuing apace at the French Open, with the Canadian sensation progressing to the second round with a straight-sets win over Anna Kalinskaya.
The 26-year-old Bouchard saw off the Russian’s challenge to claim a 6-4, 6-4 win after gaining entry to the tournament as a wildcard.
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Bouchard has been making a quiet push up the rankings after several years on the fringes of pro tennis.
After peaking at number five on the WTA rankings in October 2014, Bouchard struggled for form an ultimately dropped out of the top 100 in 2018, eventually concluding the 2020 season ranked 262.
Coming off her first appearance in a WTA final after making it through to the decider at the Istanbul Open two weeks ago, Bouchard will be hoping to match her previous best at the French Open - a semi-final appearance in her breakout 2014 season.
The popular Canadian will face Australian player Daria Gavrilova for a shot at the third round.
Gavrilova is looking to make a charge up the rankings herself, entering Roland Garros ranked 251.
Eugenie Bouchard to face resurgent Gavrilova
Injury-plagued Gavrilova declared "the old Dasha is back" after making a triumphant return to grand slam tennis with a stunning first-round French Open triumph.
Playing on a protected ranking after slumping to No.785 in the world, Gavrilova sent 24th seed Dayana Yastremska packing with a 6-4 6-3 boilover on a chilly and wet first day at Roland Garros.
Gavrilova only made her comeback two weeks ago from more than a year out battling a debilitating foot injury and entered the claycourt slam with modest hopes.
But the one-time world No.20 needed only one hour and 21 minutes to see off Yastremska and book a date with former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.
"It's pretty cool. It's pretty satisfying," Gavrilova told AAP.
"I was pretty confident, to be honest. I played a very confident match.
"I kind of knew what to expect from her and I did everything right and I was very positive - the old Dasha was back.
"I felt like it all started again. I was very hungry and I was really enjoying every moment. Yeah, it was fun."
Gavrilova was under the tutelage of David Taylor, the long-time former coach of 2010 French Open runner-up and 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, before aborting her 2019 season last September.
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