Friday , January 27 2023

Serena removes Bouchard in Melbourne


MELBOURNE, Australia – Serena Williams appreciated it's important to get down in a strong start against Eugenie Bouchard in the Australian Open's second round on Thursday.

"Serena," she said beforehand, "you have to get hot, you have to get out of the fire."

No problem. In search of the eighth title at Melbourne Park and the 24th Grand Slam trophy, Williams opened and could be closed pretty well, grabbing 13 of the first 17 points and 20 in the 24, -2, 6 -2 win over 2014 Wimbledon runner-up Bouchard.

"It has to be a favorite to win this tournament," Bouchard said. "It's been hard to play against it. I always felt that they hurried, a little on the back leg, it's just so much power."

The evening did not start well for Bouchard. It's not good at all.

The Canadian player, who was in 5th place and currently number 79, won the coin and chose to serve. At the first point, Bouchard offered a service minute of 86 km / h (138 km / h) that Williams jumped everywhere, pulling a return from the back that missed and missed it.

So yes, Bouchard won that point, but that sequence led her in trying to make a tad too much on the second serve, because he finished the game with double defeats consecutive to be broken immediately.

This was part of a run in which Williams ran to a 3-0 double-break lead in less than 10 minutes.

"Sometimes I would even hit the first good series and was right at my feet at the base line. That's how it works," Bouchard said. "When the blood comes back, it's almost intimidating."

Bouchard started the second set in a better shape, even hitting a big winner in the back, which Williams welcomed, hitting his rocket and exclaiming, "Good work!"

Before 2-1, Bouchard came to love his 30 on Williams' service and seemed – perhaps, maybe – to make things interesting. That was when Williams regained control, taking eight consecutive points to keep there, then broke into love on the way to claim the last five matches.

On Saturday, 37-year-old Williams will face Dayana Yastremska, an 18-year-old woman in Ukraine, ranked 59th and eliminated 23 seed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 for to reach the third round of a major for the first time.

Yastremska was born in 2000, when Williams won his first Grand Slam title.

What's going through Williams's mind when faced with younger opponents than her?

"Well," she said, "I think" Lord, Serena, are you still here on the tour, seriously? "

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