Top seed Radwanska gets past Bouchard at Connecticut Open

AP
Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska survives a second-set comeback bid from Eugenie Bouchard to advance to the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Open in New Haven.
AP
AFP

Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland returns a shot to Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during their Connecticut Open second-round match at Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, on August 22, 2017. The top seed won 6-3, 7-5.

Top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska survived a second-set comeback bid from Eugenie Bouchard to advance to the quarterfinals of the Connecticut Open on Tuesday.

The 10th-ranked Radwanska, who won the title in New Haven last year, defeated Bouchard 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour, 45 minutes. The Polish veteran is 4-0 in her career against the Canadian, who needed a wildcard to enter the tournament.

Bouchard fought off two match points but was broken while serving to force a tiebreak.

"I expected this kind of match," Radwanska said. "I think she seems better now than a few months ago, playing more consistent.

"I'm feeling much better than in the beginning of the year. I'm not struggling with my health anymore so I feel strong. I feel better and more confident on court as well so that is helping."

Also advancing were Australia's Daria Gavrilova, who needed 2 hours, 12 minutes to defeat Timea Babos of Hungary 7-5, 7-6 (6), and Elise Mertens of Belgium, a straight-sets winner over Russia's Daria Kasatkina. No. 8 seed Peng Shuai of China eliminated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia with a 6-2, 6-3 victory, and Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro moved into the second round when Slovakia's Jana Cepelova retired in the second set of their match.

The Connecticut Open is the final women's tuneup for the US Open, which begins on Monday.

In New York, former US Open runner-up Vera Zvonareva of Russia beat China's Xinyun Han 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Monday to advance in the qualifying rounds for the year's final Grand Slam.

The 32-year-old Zvonareva has not played in the main draw of a Grand Slam event since the 2015 Australian Open. In 2010, she lost the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams and the US Open final to Kim Clijsters.

Zvonareva returned to competitive tennis this year after a two-year hiatus, during which she got married and gave birth. She would need to win two more qualifying matches to be assured a spot in the main draw.

On the men's side, Denis Shapovalov of Canada advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over American Denis Kudla. The 18-year-old Shapovalov recently defeated Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal at the Rogers Cup before losing to eventual champion Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

Extended absence

Meanwhile, Bernard Tomic is set to return to tennis at the US Open, ending an extended absence from the game that has seen the Australian's world ranking plummet to 146, local media reported.

The 24-year-old, once touted a future top-10 player, has not played since Wimbledon where he caused an uproar by declaring himself "bored" with the game after a listless first-round defeat to Mischa Zverev.

He sparked further condemnation last month when he told Australian television that he was only in tennis for the money and had won plenty of it even without trying hard.

Tomic's manager told Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper that he would play in the Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows and had also entered tournaments in each of the last six weeks of the ATP season.

"He is playing the US Open," Tomic's manager Matthew Fawcett said.

"Following that he is planning to play Chengdu, Tokyo, Shanghai, Antwerp or Stockholm or Moscow, Vienna and Paris."

Tomic has withdrawn from his last four tournaments, pushing his ranking to depths that will require him to battle on lower-tier tours or beg for wildcards from tournament organizers next year.

His top-30 world ranking at the end of last year guarantees him slots at the ATP 500 tournaments in Tokyo and Vienna but he will need to boost his ranking to qualify for the ATP 1000 Masters series events in Shanghai and Paris in October.

Pundits see little chance of Tomic having the required fitness to win best-of-5 set matches at the US Open and his childhood coach Neil Guiney told local media last week that he feared Tomic's career was finished.

Tennis Australia's high performance chief Wally Masur said last month he was worried the long-time Davis Cup player was "burnt out".

Tomic was ranked 17th in the world heading into the Australian Open last year but has not surpassed a quarterfinal on the tour this season and mostly crashed out in the first or second rounds of tournaments.

Reports of his party lifestyle in his Miami base abound in Australian media.

"Bernard is getting to that point where reality is really going to hit him," Australia's doubles great Todd Woodbridge told The Australian newspaper last week.

"He will find out pretty quickly whether he enjoys playing, whether he wants to play and whether tennis can give him a lifestyle he enjoys.

"Otherwise, it won’t be long before he discovers that what he has been doing is a wonderful opportunity that has gone begging."

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