Eugenie Bouchard of Canada makes a forehand return to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian
January 24, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Eugenie Bouchard returned to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a win that was far from routine on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Canadian, who reached the semifinals or better at the first three Grand Slam tournaments last year, won nine of the first 10 games in her fourth-round match against Irina-Camelia Begu, but lost seven of the next nine to be pushed to a third set for the first time in the tournament.

After serving double-fault on set point to end the second, Bouchard took a short break before returning to complete a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 win against the No. 42-ranked Begu, who had taken out No. 9-seeded Angelique Kerber in the first round.

''I gave myself a good, long hard look in the mirror,'' Bouchard explained of her brief absence from Rod Laver Arena. ''I said, `Genie, this is unacceptable.' I really kind of kicked myself in the butt a little bit.''

Bouchard, who reached the semifinals on her debut at the Australian Open last season and made the Wimbledon final, will next play either No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova or No. 21 Peng Shuai.

After three straight-sets wins, Bouchard joked that she went three sets for a couple of reasons.

''Clearly I need more practice!'' she said, then turned to the section of fans known as the Genie Army who support her in Australia. ''It's not horrible playing longer on this court. I just wanted to do that for you guys, and for them to practice more songs.''

In the other quarter, No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova had a 6-3, 6-2 win over Julia Goerges to reach the quarterfinals, where she'll play the winner of a Sunday night match between No. 3 Simona Halep and Yanina Wickmayer.

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