[CR7] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs. [CR135] Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR)
The pressure of expectations and the consequences of that pressure were on full display today. Ivanovic was the first to experience the effects as she battled against the 135th ranked player, Larcher de Brito. She was expected to win and continue her quest to defend her title. However, Larcher de Brito had no desire to accommodate her wishes and the tension got to Ivanovic. Larcher de Brito has been struggling to find the form that she had when she first came on tour. Much was expected of her as well; yet, she has not lived up to the expectations and has been plodding away in obscurity, trying to find her way. Perhaps she will be encouraged by her 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) defeat of Ivanovic and use this victory as step in rebuilding her confidence.
Bouchard was the second to fall victim to the pressure of expectations. Her struggles continued as she faced Mladenovic who defeated her in their last encounter. It was not the test that Bouchard wanted and she failed miserably in the end. Mladenovic played quality tennis and although she stumbled in the second set, she regained her footing and soundly defeated Bouchard 6-0 in the third to win the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. There is no place to hide on the tennis court, when things are going well, that fact is irrelevant; however, when things turn sour, everyone clearly sees your pain and then you wish for a place to hide. Bouchard cannot hide the fact that she has a lot of work to do to recover her form. Can she get back on track in time for Wimbledon or does she continue working and plan for a full recovery by the start of the 2016 season?