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Bouchard beats Latvia’s Sevastova in 1st round in Doha

By AP 22 February 2016

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Eugenie Bouchard took another step in her comeback on the WTA Tour by battling to a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova in the first round of the Qatar Open on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Canadian, who reached as high as No. 5 in the rankings in October 2014, the year she made the final of Wimbledon before losing to Petra Kvitova, is now ranked 61st on the WTA Tour.

Bouchard is making a comeback this year after suffering a concussion at the 2015 U.S. Open when she slipped and fell in the locker room and subsequently pulling out of the tournament.

Bouchard, who is now involved in a legal battle with the United States Tennis Association following the incident, will meet either 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine or Czech player Denisa Allertova in the next round.

The Canadian, who accepted a wild card for the tournament, finally won her match after two hours and 28 minutes. She saved nine break points.

“I haven’t played a match for some time, so I am glad to get a good, tough outing in the first round,” said Bouchard, whose last match was a second-round loss to Agnieszka Radwanska in the Australian Open.

“I’m just so grateful to be back on tour after a rough end of last season. I’m just so happy to be doing what I love, to be playing in front of the fans, to enjoy this life.”

The top eight seeded players, including world No. 2 and Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber of Germany, have a bye to the second round.

Karolina Pliskova, seeded 10th, lost rather tamely to Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan 6-1, 6-1 after struggling to get her first serves in during the whole match.

Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, a former top-10 player now ranked 28th, continued her domination of Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, beating her 6-3, 6-2 in the last match of the day. She is now 4-0 overall against the Russian player.

Croatia’s Donna Vekic brushed aside Omani wildcard Fatma Al Nabhani, winning 6-0, 6-0 in 50 minutes.

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