U.S. Open: Bouchard latest top woman to crash out
NEW YORK — Bothered by the heat and stifling humidity, Eugenie Bouchard felt dizzy and her vision was blurry.
She got her blood pressure checked. Plastic bags filled with ice were rubbed on her shoulders, arms and legs during a second-set medical timeout.
Bouchard tried to carry on, but it was hardly an ideal time to try to win a tennis match. The No. 7-seeded Bouchard became the latest top woman to bow out at this surprise-filled U.S. Open, beaten 7-6 (2), 6-4 Monday by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the fourth round.
It ended Bouchard’s streak of making at least the semifinals at each Grand Slam tournament this year. That included a runner-up finish at Wimbledon in July; the 20-year-old Canadian is only 4-4 since then.
“I definitely felt a lot of outside expectations and pressure to win matches. I felt more like it’s normal if I win, and it’s a bit more of a disaster when I lose,” Bouchard said. “But that’s something that I need to block out.”
In muggy air, with the temperature in the high 80s, Bouchard began having trouble from the middle of the first set and was checked on by a trainer during the changeover after the second set’s fifth game. During that delay, Makarova cooled down by putting ice bags on herself.
Asked what went through her mind during Bouchard’s medical break, Makarova smiled.
“Well, actually, I thought, ‘Thanks,’ because I also was tired,” Makarova said with a smile. “It was really (helpful) for me also.”
It’s not the first time Bouchard has been affected by heat, saying it happened at last year’s U.S. Open, too, and as a junior at the Australian Open.
“Once in a while, I get a little bit light-headed,” Bouchard said. “That’s what happens.”
Her exit means that for the first time since 1977, eight women will have filled the eight finalist slots at a season’s Grand Slam tournaments.
Petra Kvitova defeated Bouchard at Wimbledon; Kvitova departed in the third round in Flushing Meadows against 145th-ranked qualifier Aleksandra Krunic, who tried to pull off another shocker against two-time U.S. Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka but couldn’t quite do it. Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open champion, took four of the last five games to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 Monday night.
At the French Open in June, Maria Sharapova edged Simona Halep; Sharapova lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round in New York, and Halep went out in the third round against qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
And at the Australian Open in January, Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova; Li didn’t even enter the U.S. Open because of a knee injury, and Cibulkova was stunned by 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis in the first round.
While Makarova is into the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second year in a row, Bouchard’s early-for-her major exit certainly fits with the way things have gone the past eight days. Of the top 10 seeded women, only two remain: No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 10 Wozniacki.
The top-seeded man, Novak Djokovic, played mostly mistake-free tennis, making only 19 unforced errors and facing only two break points — both saved — in a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory over 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.