NEW YORK — Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard made an early exit from the U.S Open after losing 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to Katerina Siniakova on Tuesday.
Bouchard appeared to struggle with her serve in the third set after having her foot bandaged during a medical timeout. The native of Westmount, Que., was broken three times by Siniakova in the final set.
Overall, Siniakova had 19 break-point opportunities in the match. Bouchard saved 15 of them.
"I feel like I didn't play really well," Bouchard said. "My opponent played really well, I think. I tried my best, I fought my hardest so I have no regrets in that sense. But I wish I wish I had better feeling on the court and served better."
The 39th-ranked Bouchard seemed like she was making a comeback after dropping the first set.
Leading 4-2 in the second set, Bouchard survived three break points, rattling Siniakova, who flipped her racket in disgust after hitting wide on a long rally to level the game at deuce.
Bouchard also faced break point while serving for the second set but recovered and won when the 72nd-ranked Siniakova hit into the net.
The match seemed to turn when Bouchard took a medical time out to have her foot attended to before the third set. Siniakova took an early 2-0 lead with a break in the set's second game.
Bouchard got that break back in the third game and then won the fourth to tie it at two, but Siniakova took over from there. The Czech player won the next four games, breaking Bouchard for the victory and setting up a second-round match with France's Caroline Garcia.
"I never played her before so I didn't know what to expect, but I felt like she was really going after it," Bouchard said. "She played better than me today."
The early exit at Flushing Meadows was another setback for Bouchard, who hasn't been able to find her form consistently since her breakout 2014 season that saw her make the Wimbledon final and reach her peak ranking of No. 4 in the world.
Bouchard was hoping for a better result in New York after her 2015 U.S Open campaign was cut short when she slipped in a physiotherapist's room before her fourth-round match and was forced to withdraw due to a concussion.
Bouchard filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Open and the United States Tennis Association in October that is still ongoing.
"Coming back here I had mixed emotions," Bouchard said. "It's hard not to think about what happened last year. But since I've been here I've been forcing myself to focus on the positives, and I've also had great memories here at the U.S. Open."
The Canadian Press