What a weekend it has been for Eugenie Bouchard at the All England Club. The 18-year-old Canadian triumphed in the Girls’ Singles final on Saturday to clinch her first junior Grand Slam singles title, and on Sunday defended her Girls’ Doubles title with her partner Taylor Townsend.
Bouchard and Townsend overcame a tricky semi-final encounter on Saturday to book their place in the final against Belinda Bencic and Ana Konjuh after ousting fellow Canadian-American duo Francoise Abanda and Sacha Vickery.
Rain has hampered scheduling at this year’s Junior Championships and threatened to again as the start time was delayed by over half an hour as a result of a torrential downpour. Nevertheless, it hadn’t dampened Bouchard’s spirit as she and Townsend arrived on court smirking and giggling together, although they promptly found themselves back in the locker room as the heavens opened once again.
It was a tentative opening service game from Konjuh the 14-year-old Croatian, as she and her Swiss partner managed to claw their way back from 0-40 to hold and clinch the opening game. The No.4 seeds then raced into a 3-0 lead before themselves being pegged back to 3-3 as both pairs traded powerful cross court exchanges. The No.1 seeds suffered a slow start but soon found their rhythm mid way through the first set as left handed Townsend starting to dictate proceedings from the net.
The turning point came as the North American pair clinched the break at the third time of asking to go up 4-3 as a Bencic volley landed out. The No.1 seeds took the opening set 6-4 but soon again found themselves a break down at the start of the second before eventually proving too strong for their younger opponents, completing the 6-4, 6-3 victory in 1 hour 12 minutes.
‘’It was amazing.’’ Townsend said. ‘’Genie and I weren’t as enthusiastic as we thought we were going to be but I’m really happy and can’t ask for more. We were pretty relaxed, even when we went down in the second set it worked to our advantage.’’
Townsend was top seed in the singles before suffering a shock early exit but was happy for her partner Bouchard. "(On winning the doubles), yeah I definitely got over my disappointment in the singles, it still hurts but I’m happy Genie won the singles, she really deserves it. I was able to work on a lot of things mentally and parts of my game that I didn’t do well on in the singles. Doubles is a great way to kinda hone in on certain things you want to work on and that’s what I did so I’m really proud of myself and can’t ask for more.’’
Elsewhere, Australians Andrew Harris and Nick Kyrgios followed up their success at Roland Garros with a victory in the Boys’ Doubles final over Matteo Donati and Pietro Licciardi 6-2, 6-4. The unseeded Italians reached the final after edging past Evan Hoyt and Wayne Montgomery 7-6, 7-6 in the semi-finals on Saturday but were unable to stage a fight back when rain interrupted play at 4-3 down in the second.
‘’It feels amazing to be able to back up the French and win a Wimbledon on a bigger stage on a big court one. It was a great experience and we’re stoked.’’ Harris said.
‘’I was a bit more nervous here than at the French Open because we were playing on a bigger court but it sort of hit me when we came out and the whole crowd was clapping.
After the warm up and the first couple of games passed we focused on what we had to do out there and in the end we got the win,’’ added Kyrgios.
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