Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Trio of Canucks advance in Oz

Raonic, Pospisil, Bouchard winners

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MELBOURNE, Australia -- Two of Canada's rising tennis stars and a veteran are into the second round of the Australian Open as Eugenie Bouchard, Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic each scored opening-day victories.

No. 11 seed Raonic defeated Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver in four sets, 7-6, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

Montreal's Bouchard survived a scare from a 431st-ranked challenger from China, scoring a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Chen Tang Hao.

Vancouver's Pospisil, who is seeded 28th, eliminated Australian Sam Groth with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win.

Bouchard, the 30th seed, rode a roller-coaster in the one-hour opening set after earning a 3-1 lead, only to lose it a game later on a double-fault. Bouchard, recently named The Canadian Press female athlete of the year, was broken again to drop to 3-4 as Tang rifled back a return winner before holding for a 5-3 lead.

Bouchard saved set points in the ensuing game on Tang errors before finally earning a 7-5 win on a break.

The 19-year-old Bouchard was more in control in the second set and dominated to win 6-1.

"It was tough but I fought and got through it," Bouchard said. "I didn't play the way I really wanted, but it was good to win one like this.

Heat

"It was really fun, I had some good support, it was good atmosphere," said Bouchard, who admitted struggling the 35 C heat.

"It was hotter than the past few days, tough for both of us," she said. "It's strange training at one temperature (25 C on Sunday) and playing in something completely different. But no complaints."

She said she needed to be mindful of the hot sun.

"I'm big on sunscreen and hydration, especially the night before," said Bouchard. "I did a good job of it and was fine."

Pospisil, 23, was never troubled by Groth and appears to have overcome a back problem which bothered him this month in India and Sydney.

In the second round, Pospisil will face another Australian in Matthew Ebden.

Pospisil said that while he did not feel 100 per cent, he played well.

"I played surprising well. I was not expecting to play like this," he said. "I wasn't feeling that great and only played points the day before. I didn't have much preparation."

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 14, 2014 C4

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