NEW YORK - It wasn't quite as straight-forward as Canadians were hoping but Eugenie Bouchard is nonetheless off to the third round at the US Open.
Coming off her run to the final at Wimbledon, the native of Westmount, Quebec, is hoping to build on her success at the Grand Slams in 2014. On Thursday, she went the distance with Romania's Sorana Cirstea, defeating her 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4. Waiting for Bouchard in the third round will be Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
After winning the first set, the 20-year-old Canadian showed why she has been so successful this year, surviving a couple of break downs in the second set before clinching the win in the third and deciding set just shortly after midnight.
"I had to battle in the second set, her game was getting a lot more solid," said Bouchard. "I believed in myself. I told myself to keep fighting. I started taking the ball early and it paid off."
In said final set, Bouchard, ranked 7th entering the US Open, went up an early break but Cirstea won it back. Bouchard, however, broke the Romanian back for 4-3 on a double fault. But while Cirstea was able to prolong the duel at match point, Bouchard persevered, clinching the match with back-to-back service winners - more than two hours after the match started.
"It's so special to play my first match on Ashe stadium at night," Bouchard said following her victory . "I'm so excited to have a chance to play another match. I want to improve my tennis for that one."