Lin Zhu Outguns Eugenie Bouchard in Round of 32 at WTA Monterrey Open 2021

Published 03/17/2021, 1:38 AM EDT
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada competes in her Women’s Singles Quarter Final match against Elise Mertens of Belgium during the WTA Prague Open tennis tournament at TK Sparta Praha on August 14, 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Martin Sidorjak/Getty Images)


Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard had finally got her performances working for her. After finishing runner-up in Jalisco, she entered the following tournament, the WTA Monterrey Open, with the same passion. However, Lin Zhu proved to be a better player that day.

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Previously, Bouchard had defeated the Chinese player in the Wimbledon qualifications in 2019 in two straight sets. Before that, she had met Lin in WTA Taipei 2018, where Lin had retired in the third set.

Now, Lin had a chance to make a mark in the head-to-head and to stay another day in Mexico. Bouchard, on the other hand, was looking to maintain her clean record against the Chinese.

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Lin Zhu steals the first set from Eugenie Bouchard

Lin got the perfect start in the match, breaking her opponent’s first serve. But Bouchard returned the favor immediately, and Lin failed to hold her service after deuce.

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 06: Eugenie Bouchard of Canada reacts after a missed shot against Bianca Andreescu of Canada during a first-round match on Day 4 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 06, 2019, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Following the first two games, a tug of war started between the two. Firstly, the Chinese player failed to hold her next two serves, and consequently, she put Eugenie Bouchard in the driving seat.

However, despite being 5-2 up in the set, the Canadian could not secure the advantage. Genie let her opponent make the stronger pull and gave away six straight games.

As a result, the Canadian paid a hefty price as Lin served an ace to seal the first set 5-7. Bouchard had begun her last campaign by losing the first set as well. But could she pull a win from a set down again?

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Zhu vs Bouchard: The decider set

To stay in the Monterrey Open 2021, Bouchard required more than what she had presented in the opening set. By holding her first two serves at 30, she was finding her way back into the match.

But across the net, Lin felt more confident about winning the competition than her opponent. Thus, she stayed toe-to-toe with Genie and kept her lead alive.

Their tug of war extended in the deciding set as they both fought to hold their service game. While the Canadian resolved her situation with power, her opponent used accuracy as her formula to win.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in action against Iga Swiatek of Poland in the third round of the singles competition on Court Simonne Mathieu during the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on October 2nd 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

At 3-3, Lin got the first breakthrough and inched closer to winning the match in straight sets. Bouchard needed to return well to break the Chinese player and save the second set.

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Incredibly, after 30 points and seven breakpoints, the Canadian leveled the second set at 4-4. It could well have been the decider of the winner of the tug of war.

Following that, Bouchard patiently held her service, asking Lin to serve to keep the second set alive. The Chinese responded positively and leveled the set 5-5.

Thereafter, both of them held their service and imposed a tie-breaker. At the pinnacle of their battle, the Chinese player came through and took a 4-1 lead. From there, she went on to win the match 5-7, 6-7(3).

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Purav Joshi

678 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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