Bouchard in Prague Open 2nd round amid strict rules, rain

PRAGUE (AP) — Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard won the first and only completed main draw match at the Prague Open on a rainy Monday.

The second European tournament in the WTA’s restart amid the pandemic is following the same rules as the Palermo Open last week: No fans and media, players have to handle their own towels and are not allowed to shake hands. The players are isolated on one floor of a Prague hotel that was completely booked by tournament organizers.

Bouchard eased past eighth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-0, 6-3 for her first win on clay since 2018 and her second victory in two matches against the Russian.

Bouchard, ranked 330th, was given a wild-card entry. The Canadian missed all of February with a wrist injury before the tour was halted in March. She’s a former world No. 5 and the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up.

“I’m proud of myself with the way I stayed focused,” Bouchard said. “My rhythm was off on my serve in the first set, so I need to look at that. I’m happy I could find a solution.”

An all-Czech first-round match between Kristyna Pliskova and Linda Fruhvirtova had to be supended twice due to thunderstorms with Pliskova leading 3-2. Third-seeded Elise Mertens’ game against Jasmine Paolini didn’t start.

Fourth-seeded Dayana Yastremska withdrew from the tournament at the last minute due to tooth pain.

No. 2-ranked Simona Halep heads the field.

The tournament in Italy last week was the first official event — for men or women — since March. Another WTA event, the inaugural Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky, began on Monday on hard courts.

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