Bouchard wins Auckland opener, Puig advances

Former world number five and Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard accounted for American Madison Brengle 6-3 6-3 in Auckland on Monday.

Former world number five Eugenie Bouchard   -  Getty Images

Eugenie Bouchard kicked off her 2019 campaign with a straight-sets victory over Madison Brengle at the WTA Auckland Open.

Former world number five and Wimbledon finalist Bouchard accounted for American Brengle 6-3 6-3 in Auckland on Monday.

Bouchard has struggled for form and consistency since taking the WTA Tour by storm in 2014, when she was a Wimbledon runner-up, and Australian and French Open semifinalist.

But the Canadian showed glimpses of her best on New Year's Eve as she won a season opener for the first time since 2016.

"I think it was OK, I was very nervous," Bouchard, who concerted six of 10 break point opportunities, said of the victory. "It was the first match of the year, so you never know what to expect from your level, so I'm happy I managed to handle my nerves.

"I liked that when things didn't go so well I managed to turn it around relatively quickly, maybe a game or two went by, but then that was it and I managed to get back to playing my game.

"Sometimes it was tricky with the wind and I felt like I didn't move my feet enough, so I was able to catch these bad habits and try to change them."

Olympic champion Monica Puig, meanwhile, beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3 6-2 to progress to the second round.

Former winner Lauren Davis eased past Lara Arruabarrena 6-2 6-2, Viktoria Kuzmova outlasted Tamara Zidansek 6-2 7-6 (7-3) and Stefanie Voegele lost 7-5 6-3 to Sara Sorribes.

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