NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russian Ekaterina Makarova moved into the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open with a 7-6(2) 6-4 win over seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard on Monday as the Canadian, hailed as the future face of women’s tennis, wilted in punishing conditions.
With stifling humidity and on court temperatures hovering near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) it was another day of survival of the fittest at the year’s final grand slam and it was a challenge Bouchard could not meet, her bid for a fourth consecutive grand slam semi-final appearance coming to an end.
”I was feeling very light headed and dizzy on the court,“ said Bouchard, who required on court medical assistance during the match. ”You know, just seeing things a little blurry.
“Feeling well physically on the court is very important to me, so when I don’t feel that ... I just generally don’t feel good.”
A tense opening set played under a blazing sun that went to a tie-break and took 50 minutes to decide appeared to drain the 20-year-old Bouchard.
On serve 3-2 in the second, a distressed Bouchard called for a medical time out, trainers rushing onto the baking Louis Armstrong court to rub her arms and legs with bags of ice while checking her blood pressure.
For a moment it seemed Bouchard would not be able to continue as she covered her face with her hands and wept.
“I never want to retire from matches no matter what, I was going to play on for sure,” said Bouchard.
After regaining her composure, Bouchard gathered her resolve and returned to action but was quickly broken.
The battling Canadian, however, refused to throw in the towel, immediately breaking back to get back on serve.
Makarova, however, would step up the pressure and in the end Bouchard simply ran out of steam, the 17th seeded Russian breaking her again at 5-4 and ending the ordeal with a sizzling winner down the line.
”Today was really tough condition definitely,“ said Makarova, who moves on to face Belarusian 16th seed Victoria Azarenka or Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic. ”So humid, and sometimes I think because of the game was going up and down.
“Against Bouchard it’s always tough because she’s running good. She’s also really physical, she’s hard.”
Editing by Gene Cherry