Dubai: Canada’s rising star Eugenie Bouchard fell at the final hurdle when she went down in straight sets to Germany’s Annika Beck in the qualifying rounds of the Dubai Duty Free on Monday.
The 19-year-old Bouchard, a surprise semi-finalist at the season-opening Australian Open, lost 1-6, 4-6 to her German opponent in the afternoon.
With just four spots open for qualifiers into the main draw of the competition, it was tough for the Canadian in adjusting to the afternoon heat.
Also making the main draw were Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, Maryna Zanevska of Ukraine and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.
Pennetta defeated Yvonne Meusburger of Germany 6-1, 6-3, while Zanevska got the better of Mona Barthel 7-6, 6-4. Pliskova was the fourth and final qualifier as she raced past Camila Giorgi of Italy 7-5, 6-2.
“We have enjoyed some excellent tennis right from the start of this year’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free.
“The qualifying draw was as tough as many main draws that take place on the WTA Tour, with even a Grand Slam semi-finalist failing to survive,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “It took a tremendous effort for the four players to qualify, but their work this week has only just begun as they join a field that includes seven of the world’s Top 10.”
Final-round qualifying: Karolina Pliskova bt Camila Giorgi 7-5, 6-2
Annika Beck bt Eugenie Bouchard 6-1, 6-4;
Maryna Zanevska bt Mona Barthel 7-6, 6-4
Flavia Pennetta bt Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-3.