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By Alberto Amalfi | Thursday, February 12, 2015

 
Eugenie Bouchard

Top-seeded Genie Bouchard reacts during her second-round loss to Mona Barthel in Antwerp.

Photo credit: BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games Facebook

The top two seeds bottomed out in Belgium today.

Mona Barthel bounced top-seeded Genie Bouchard out of the Diamond Games, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Barthel's victory came a few hours after qualifier Francesca Schiavone swept second-seeded Angelique Kerber, 6-1, 6-1.

The 2010 Roland Garros champion made quick work of Kerber, breaking serve five times in a 57-minute victory. Schiavone has now won three of four meetings with the 10th-ranked German.

The 81st-ranked Italian will take on fifth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals. Suarez Navarro won 12 of the final 14 games in a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over Monica Niculescu.

Playing her first match since losing to Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open quarterfinals, Bouchard prowled the baseline and pressured Barthel with quick strikes to take the opening set.

Hitting her flat strikes into the corners, Barthel turned the match around in the second set. She served 75 percent to set up her first strike and hit eight winners compared to three for Bouchard in rolling through the second set.

The 24-year-old German sustained her level and Bouchard's serve dipped dramatically in the decisive set. The Canadian served just 41 percent and clanked four of her nine double faults in the third set.

Bouchard appeared to be very disappointed with the loss, but this cryptic tweet from Victoria Azarenka not too long after the match's conclusion fueled speculation on Twitter that perhaps not everybody is rooting for Bouchard to get off on the right foot with her new coach Sam Sumyk. Azarenka, who worked with Sumyk for five years, has yet to publicly comment on the matter. Should we consider this her unofficial official statement?


World No. 42 Barthel advanced to a quarterfinal with Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who defeated seventh-seeded Alize Cornet, 6-4, 6-2.

Dominika Cibulkova ended the run of Dutch qualifier Indy De Vroome, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

Dominika Cibulkova

"I played with a lot of ups and downs," Cibulkova said. "Luckily I played better in the final set."

The sixth-seeded Cibulkova will try to beat Andrea Petkovic for the first time since 2012 when they meet in the quarterfinals. Petkovic withstood eight match points in a wild 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory yesterday.




 

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