MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard has advanced to the second round of the Australian Open.
The native of Westmount, Que., ousted American Louisa Chirico 6-0, 6-4 in 56 minutes.
“I really worked hard in the off-season and really found my motivation,” Bouchard said in an on-court interview. “I think I improved a couple things in my game and I feel very energetic on the court and that helps me play better.
“I just want to keep going. There’s still a long road ahead.”
The pair didn’t begin play until nearly 11 p.m. after Stan Wawrinka needed nearly 3 1/2 hours to beat Martin Klizan in five sets in the preceding match.
Bouchard made the semifinals at Melbourne Park in 2014, and followed that up with a semi appearance at the French and the final at Wimbledon.
But injuries and poor form have since seen her ranking drop out of the top 20.
On Monday, Bouchard won the opening set in 18 minutes and broke Chirico in the third game of the second set before serving to win, clinching the match when Chirico sent a forehand long.
No. 3 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., opens play Tuesday against Germany’s Dustin Brown.