Bouchard crashes out as rain wreaks havoc in Cincinnati

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Eugenie Bouchard was eliminated from the WTA Western and Southern Open in the opening round as rain eventually washed out Tuesday's play.

Runner-up at Wimbledon in 2014 and semi-finalist at the Australian and French Open in the same year, Bouchard was upstaged by Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-0 after making it through qualifying in Cincinnati.

Czech 15th seed Karolina Pliskova did progress in the only second-round match before clashes were suspended due to rain, with six of the 13 scheduled fixtures either uncompleted or yet to start at the Premier event.

 

STRYCOVA SHINES AS PLISKOVA EASES TO VICTORY

Despite rain wreaking havoc, Strycova held her nerve to dispose of Bouchard.

Rain delays threatened to derail Strycova, with several interruptions, but after claiming the first set and racing out to a 5-0 lead, the Czech kept her composure to win the four necessary points to serve out the match following another half in proceedings.

Next up is former US Open and 14th seed Samantha Stosur.

Pliskova made light work of Jelena Ostapenko as she progressed to the third round.

After bad weather conditions delayed the start of the match by more than an hour, Pliskova saw off Latvian teenager Ostapenko 6-4 6-1 to set up a showdown against either Misaki Doi or Christina McHale.

 

HEAVY RAIN CAUSES HEADACHE FOR ORGANISERS

While Alize Cornet, Alison Riske, Timea Babos, Tsvetana Pironkova and Annika Beck completed their matches, 14 players were left waiting to complete theirs.

Cornet accounted for Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7-1) 6-3, Rise outlasted Varvara Flink 6-4 7-6 (8-6), Babos was too good for Louisa Chirico 6-4 6-4, Pironkova eased past Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-1 and Beck defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-2 6-3.

However, Kristina Mladenovic and Co. were left stranded on court.

Mladenovic was leading 7-6 (7-1) 1-0 against Kateryna Bondarenko, while Andrea Petkovic and Lucie Safarova were level at 1-1 in the opening set when the first-round matches were suspended.

The other first-round meetings pitting Johanna Larson and Irina-Camelia Begu, and Viktorija Golubic were postponed without getting underway.

Garbine Muguruza - the fourth seed - did not take to the court and will open her campaign against Coco Vandeweghe in the second round on Wednesday, with 17th seed Elina Svitolina and Daria Gavrilova due to the same.

 

BOUCHARD STRUGGLES, PIRONKOVA TOO STRONG

Canadian star Bouchard saved three break points but it mattered little as she was broken on four occasions during her straight-sets loss to Strycova.

Pironkova saved all six break points she faced in her routine victory over Kasatkina.

Pliskova tallied 20 winners and 19 unforced errors, compared to Ostapenko's 16 and 26 respectively.

 

STRYCOVA UNDERSTANDABLY HAPPY POST-MATCH

After sending Bouchard packing, Strycova revelled in her achievement: "I felt good today and Eugenie is such a good player that you always have to stay focused. That's what I did today and I think that was the key."

As for Pliskova, she said: "I think I played a pretty solid match. Even with the conditions today; we are waiting on the court and even before we went on the court it was raining as well."

 

BIG GUNS IN ACTION IN CINCINNATI

While the likes of Muguruza return to finally play in the second round, Olympic silver medallist Angelique Kerber opens her tournament on Wednesday. The German will face either Bondarenko or Mladenovic in the second round. Last year's runner-up Simona Halep and 10th seed Johanna Konta will also take to the court.