Took a little break from tennis posting (but not a break from watching) after a long Roland Garros 2015. With Wimbledon on the horizon, it’s time to get cracking again. There will be a lot of fine tuning of grass court play by many of the ladies at the 2015 Aegon International at Eastbourne. It’s time to get those games sharp for the big prize. One woman who reached the Wimbledon final last year and was the toast of the tour for the first half of 2014 is Eugenie Bouchard. But oh has her game fallen precipitously since Petra Kvitova blitzed her a year ago, falling from #5 in the world down to #12. Coming into Aegon, Genie had lost 10 of her last 11 matches. She had played two grass court events before Eastbourne, losing her first match in both. So while a 7-6 (5) 6-3 win over Alison Riske isn’t nearly among her biggest wins to date, although Alison is a solid young player, any victory for Genie is a cause for celebration these days. We’ll know more about where Bouchard’s game is when she faces Belinda Bencic in the next round. Bencic ousted the defending Aegon International champion, Madison Keys.
Also looking to have a good week is former world #1 Caroline Wozniacki. She’s climbed back up the rankings with solid play over the last year. She opened with a 7-6 (4) 6-2 triumph over Jarmila Gajdosova. A title at Eastbourne, on grass, would really give Sunshine loads of confidence going into Wimbledon. But I wonder…and this is not directed solely at Wozniacki, this happens a lot and for as long as I’ve watched tennis…if she will be around this weekend. Often, top players will use a tune-up event the week before a Major to prepare their game. If they win it, great. But they won’t overly exert themselves to do so. Sometimes you’ll see them play two matches and mysteriously pull out with an injury, while also saying they’ll be fine for the upcoming Major, whichever one it happens to be. I’m not saying Caro or anybody else in this draw will do that. I’m just saying that it would be great to see Sunshine win here, but not if that effort will compromise being fresh for the Major fortnight to come.
2 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (won 7-6 (4) 6-2 vs Jarmila Gajdosova)
JOHANNA KONTA (won 6-2 6-4 vs 4 Ekaterina Makarova)
SLOANE STEPHENS (won 6-1 7-5 vs 5 Carla Suarez Navarro)
7 EUGENIE BOUCHARD (won 7-6 (5) 6-3 vs Alison Riske)