Bouchard Overcomes Venus, Jankovic Rolls
By: Nicholas McCarvel
Forget that Genie Bouchard had watched Venus Williams on TV when she was just a little girl, or that she looked up to the Williams sisters when she was a junior: Thursday at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, Bouchard had a match to win.
The 20-year-old from Canada did just that against Venus, who at 13 years Genie's senior had won this event 10 years ago - when Bouchard was - that's right - 10 years old.
Bouchard came out on top 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals at the Volvo Car Open Tennis Center for the second time in a row, a year after she came through the draw here as a qualifier ranked No. 114.
"Every time I walk on the court, I believe I can win, and I think I believed more this time than probably the last time I played her," said Bouchard, who lost to Venus in a close three-setter last fall. "It's always an opportunity for me to play someone I've watched on TV when I was younger and someone who's been No. 1 and such a great player. So I always expect great tennis because she's still playing at a great level, and she was at an amazing level."
Bouchard will face another former world No. 1 and Cup champion in Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals. The 2007 winner here beat Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-1 to advance. This match is a rematch from a year ago, when the Serbian beat Bouchard in the same round.
No. 3 seed Sara Errani was tested but won on Thursday, as well, beating Peng Shuai 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) in the first match of the day on Billie Jean King Stadium Court.
Former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova rolled through her match with Teliana Pereira on Althea Gibson Court, 6-2, 6-3. She'll face Jana Cepelova, a fellow Slovakian who stunned Serena Williams in the second round. Cepelova overcame No. 13 seed and 2011 Cup finalist Elena Vesnina 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 to advance.
Andrea Petkovic wasted no time in winning her third match of the tournament, beating 2009 Volvo Car Open winner Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-1 for her first-ever berth in the last eight here.
Petkovic now meets Lucie Safarova, the 2012 finalist, who overcame second- and third-set deficits against 2010 winner Sam Stosur, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the night-session match Thursday, which went nearly two and a half hours.
"She played a lot more consistently than I did," explained Williams, who was a semifinalist here a year ago. "I think my errors really hurt me a lot today, just a lot of up and down, a lot of errors."
Venus came back in sets to win in both the first and second rounds, but wasn't able to close out the first set having had set points. She said she was tired in general.
"[I didn't] have the endurance this week, so I think that contributed to my errors and I just kind of wanted to make the points shorter a lot of the times," Williams said. "I made some bad choices or my legs would stop. So that kind of made it more challenging."