Eugenie Bouchard was the only woman to reach the semi-finals or better of the year’s first three Grand Slam tournaments but the 20-year-old Canadian will not complete her collection here at the US Open. Struggling to cope with the hot and muggy conditions, Bouchard was beaten 7-6, 6-4 on Monday night by Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round. The result left Serena Williams as the only one of the top nine seeds left in the tournament.
Bouchard, who has climbed to No 8 in the world rankings, pushed hard in the first set but then wilted in the stifling heat. When trailing 3-2 in the second set she took a medical time-out, during which her blood pressure was checked and bags of ice were rubbed on her body.
Makarova broke serve immediately play resumed. Bouchard broke back, but at 4-5 the Wimbledon runner-up dropped her serve again, this time to love, as Makarova reached the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.
If the first three Grand Slam tournaments were a triumph for Bouchard, they have mostly painful memories for Williams. The world No 1 went out in the fourth round in Melbourne, the second in Paris and the third at Wimbledon, where her problems were compounded by a virus which forced her to retire mid-match in the doubles.
Williams secured her place in the quarter-finals here with an emphatic 6-3, 6-3 victory over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. The defending champion always judges herself by her results in Grand Slam tournaments and did not hide her elation. “I never thought it would be so exciting,” she said with a smile when asked about making the last eight.
In the quarter-finals Williams will face Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, who beat Casey Dellacqua 7-5, 6-2. Williams has won all five of her matches against Pennetta, who reached the semi-finals here last year.