Evgeniya Rodina def Genie Bouchard 76(2) 61
For the first time since her 2015 slip-and-fall in the US Open ladies locker room, Genie Bouchard returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium Wednesday, and fell in straight-sets to World #89 Evgeniya Rodina.
Bouchard suffered a debilitating concussion in that fall two-years-ago. It was late. She had just finished a mixed doubles match and was on her way to the ice bath when she slipped on the freshly cleaned locker room floor, hitting her head. After the concussion diagnosis, she withdrew from the tournament and missed her Round of 16 match with Roberta Vinci.
Vinci went on to reach the Final. Bouchard sued the USTA. A messy lawsuit that continues today. Back in March, Genie’s lawyers filed a motion claiming that the USTA intentionally deleted security camera footage of the incident, referring to Genie’s injury as a “career-altering” concussion.
Yet, despite the contentious litigation, Genie and the USTA shared top-billing Wednesday on the sport’s biggest stage. But it was Evgeniya Rodina’s day to shine.
The 28-year-old Russian traded breaks with Bouchard twice in the first set, before steam-rolling Genie 7-2 in the tie-break. Frustrated, Bouchard took more risks in the second, spraying shots long and wide, racking up 46 unforced errors.
Rodina will face Toronto champ and World #4 Elina Svitolina in Round-2 – my dark-horse to win this year’s Open. Elina’s won five titles this year alone, including the Premiers in Dubai, Rome and Toronto. Her confidence is sky-high, and she’s ready to back up her top-4 ranking in New York, where she’s never made it past the 3rd-Round.