So, you win your first round match in dominating fashion, taking less than an hour to dispatch your opponent.
What is your reward?
For Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard, the answer is, Serena Williams.
Bouchard beat world no. 129 Shuai Peng 6 – 2, 6 – 1. The AO committee may be able to get another match out of those balls.
Bouchard seems to be enjoying a mini-resurgence. She was impressive at the end of 2018, and is off to a good start in 2019, showing the sort of form that had her in the top five as a 19-year-old in 2014.
Serena showed some signs of vulnerability, surrendering two games in the second set to world no. 73 Tatjana Maria. Maria is one of those we would like to see advance further, as she hits a proper, one-handed backhand. Unfortunately, running into Williams in the first round is not a good tactic for advancing deep into any tournament, let alone one that could justifiably be renamed as the Serena Williams Australian Open.
Williams has won seven times and trails only Margaret Court’s 11 Australian Open wins. Court has a court named after her, so that would seem the very least the AO could do for Williams, along with granting honorary citizenship.
Bouchard goes into her match with Williams with praise from Williams ringing in her ears.
“She does everything well, and I really like that she doesn’t quit,” Williams said of Bouchard.
Those who enjoy participating in wishful speculation might want to predict that Bouchard can take four games from Williams.
Bouchard also mentioned that tennis is once again enjoyable for her.
Williams and Bouchard last played head-to-head five years ago. Bouchard took two games. In their only other encounter in 2013, Bouchard actually took the first set before Serena awoke and thumped Bouchard out of the city of Cincinnati and the state of Ohio.