June 28, 2018 / 2:06 PM / 24 days ago

Tennis-Bouchard survives qualifying to grab Wimbledon spot

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - Former Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard successfully negotiated the qualifying draw on Thursday, beating Colombian Mariana Duque-Marino 6-3 6-2 to secure a spot in next week’s main draw.

Ranked 191, the Canadian had to run the gauntlet of Roehampton and after winning two rounds held her nerve against Duque-Marino, who had narrowly missed automatic Wimbledon entry.

“I was a really solid today, I was a little nervous before,” 24-year-old Bouchard, labelled the new golden girl of tennis after reaching the 2014 Wimbledon final, told the BBC.

“I feel like I’ve earned (my main draw place) more than just being in by ranking so I’m proud of it and I got matches this week which is what I wanted because I’ve not played a lot, I’ve been injured, so that was the goal.”

Roehampton’s wide expanses of playing fields are a far cry from the glamorous All England Club, where Bouchard played Petra Kvitova in a Centre Court final in 2014.

Bouchard, who also reached the Australian and French semis that year, rising to number five in the world, will now head to Wimbledon with confidence restored.

Australian Bernard Tomic, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2011, will not feature this year after he lost 6-3 6-1 6-2 in the final round of qualifying to Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans.

Russia’s Vera Zvonareva, runner-up to Serena Williams in 2010, was also one match away from qualifying on Thursday as she took on American Caroline Dolehide. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Alexander Smith)

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