February 23, 2024

Open Court


Oz pics: Genie Bouchard warms up for Peng

MELBOURNE – Genie Bouchard may not be seeded here, but she’s enjoying all the perks.

Margaret Court Arena for her first-round match, Hisense Arena for her second-round match, with both matches against equally unseeded opponents.

And when she arrived on Court No. 18 today to warm up for for the encounter with Shuai Peng, Peng was already on the court. But the Chinese player, a 31-year-old with one singles title (same as the Canadian), another 32 titles on the ITF circuit, and career highs of No. 14 in singles and No. 1 in doubles, had to share her court with No. 10 seed Carla Suarez Navarro and Americans Christina Mchale and Asia Muhammad.

Bouchard had the half-hour to herself with a hitting partner.

She’s certainly not going to complain.

It’s really windy at Melbourne Park today, and there were a few funny moments as Bouchard tried to warm up her overhead. The conditions should be easier in Hisense, where the wind might be swirling a bit below but where the court is sheltered by the high walls. The sun is glaring in there, though; it’s a tough place to play.

We’ll see what happens.

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