MELBOURNE: Canadian seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard admitted she was full of regrets on Tuesday after blowing the chance to make a Grand Slam statement against second seed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old, hyped as the rising star of a new generation destined for glory at the majors, was seeded seventh at Melbourne Park but looked outclassed in her quarter-final against the Russian five-time Slam champion.
Bouchard lost 6-3, 6-2 in her fourth straight defeat to Sharapova, including a semi-final loss at the French open last year.
She went into the match vowing to take the fight to the world number two but made too many mistakes going for big winners, conceding a break in the first game from which she never recovered.
“I felt under pressure the whole time, a bit on my back foot,” she said “I mean, that’s not how I want to play. I feel like I didn’t start well, and it kind of all went downhill from there.
“It’s definitely easier when you have a good start to the match.”
Bouchard insisted she had chances to win the match, including two break points in the first set, but failed to seize them.
“I know I could have done better for sure, so I’m disappointed with that, with not taking the few chances I got here and there,” she said.
“Against great players, you have to take every little chance you can get. Disappointed I couldn’t do better with those.”
Bouchard was the most consistent player at Grand Slams last year, making the Australian and French semis along with the Wimbledon final.
She said her dream of a maiden Grand Slam was still alive.
“I’m never happy with losing. I wanted to obviously win today, win the tournament,” she said.
“I always want to do better, especially than the year before. I’m always trying to aim for that.”