Bouchard slump deepens as Duan stuns

Duan Yingying had to get past three rivals in qualifying competitions to advance to a clash with 12th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard.
Duan Yingying had to get past three rivals in qualifying competitions to advance to a clash with 12th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • China's Duan Yingying, nicknamed "Duanvenport" by her fans, hopes to win more matches at Wimbledon after shocking last year's beaten finalist Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in the first round on Tuesday.

"(Lindsay) Davenport has been my idol since I was a child," she said of the former American world No. 1. "My coach always asked me to learn from her because we have similar height and size."

Although Duan, who stands at 1.86m and weighs 84kg, looks as strong as Davenport in her playing days, she is unlikely to emulate the achievements of the three-time Grand Slam winner, who had been world No. 1 by 22.

But Duan, 26, was satisfied with her first victory in a Grand Slam event - which left her as the only Chinese in the women's singles draw after Zheng Saisai was eliminated 0-6, 5-7 by fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki

"This is the best result in my career," she said. "I am very excited. The victory has given me a lot of confidence.

  • RESULTS

  • WIMBLEDON, 2nd rd (selected)

    Men: Nick Kyrgios (Aus) bt Juan Monaco (Arg) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-4, John Isner (USA) bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 6-2 7-6 (10-8) 6-4, David Goffin (Bel) bt Liam Broady (Gbr) 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 6-1.

    Women: Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Richel Hogenkamp (Ned) 6-3 6-1, Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Karolina Pliskova (Cze) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, Samantha Stosur (Aus ) bt Urszula Radwanska (Pol) 6-3 6-4.

"I know the next match will be more difficult.

" I will try my best to give the Chinese fans a chance to enjoy tennis."

Actually, it was also the Chinese player's first main-draw appearance at Wimbledon.

Two years ago, she entered the event when she was ranked a career-high No. 104 but was forced to withdraw because her native Tianjin team had asked her to play in the National Games instead.

Duan, ranked 117th in the world, had to beat three rivals in the qualifying competitions to set up a clash against the 12th-ranked Bouchard.

Having never beaten a player ranked inside the top 50, she upset the Canadian in 1hr 30min.

It was Bouchard's 12th loss in 14 matches over her last 11 events since reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open in January and the result will send her tumbling outside the world's top 20.

Bouchard, 21, maintained that her loss was not because of a lack of confidence or poor tactical decisions but because of an abdominal tear that severely limited her movement and strength.

Less than an hour after her exit, world No. 106 Jana Cepelova of Slovakia knocked out Romanian third seed Simona Halep 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, to give the women's draw a good jolt.

XINHUA, NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Bouchard slump deepens as Duan stuns'. Print Edition | Subscribe