SPORTS

Canada's Bouchard out of Indian Wells after fourth-round loss to Halep

03/11/2014 04:43 EDT | Updated 05/11/2014 05:59 EDT
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Two forehand errors spelled the end for Canada's Eugenie Bouchard at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

The Montreal native lost in the fourth round to sixth-seed Simona Halep of Romania 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.

Canada's last chance in the women's draw of the ATP-WTA tournament now rests with Aleksandra Wozniak. The player from Blainville, Que., faces Australian Open champion and top seed Li Na in a later match in a bid to become the first Canadian women to reach the last eight at the desert tournament.

Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., will bid for a quarter-final berth on Wednesday when he plays fifth-seeded Wimbledon winner Andy Murray.

The 20-year-old Bouchard, making her debut in the main draw at the Tennis Garden after losing in the 2013 qualifying rounds, set up a match point for Halep with a forehand wide and drove another one out a point later to end the one-hour 37-minute battle.

Bouchard, ranked a career-high 19 after her Australian Open semi-final, fired seven aces but was weighed down by six double-faults.

"I didn't start so great, but I served better in the second set," said Bouchard. "I had a few easy holds but some tough battles as well. I could have done with a few more first serves. I tried to go for my shots in the rallies. but I didn't take my chances."

Bouchard was stunned in the opening set as Halep raced away to a 5-0 lead before Bouchard could make an impression in what turned into a routine 30-minute effort.

Bouchard rallied in the second as her form returned after the slow start, levelling the sets at one each with two breaks of her seeded opponent.

Bouchard then lost a third-set break as Halep squared at 4-all. Halep put her opponent under pressure on serve in the tenth game, with Bouchard's pair of forehand errors sending her to defeat.

"She was very solid, exactly what I expected," said Bouchard, who will now head to her training base in Florida to prepare for the Miami tournament which starts next week. "She put the pressure on me today, she's won a lot of titles so she knows how to battle.

"Maybe I don't deserve it, but I'll take a day off and get back to practise. Florida is like my second home and I'm looking forward to a good tournament.

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