MONTRÉAL: The vocal support of the home crowd was not enough to carry Canadian Eugenie Bouchard into the second round of the Rogers Cup in Montréal on Tuesday as she fell 6-2 6-4 to Belgian Elise Mertens.
Mertens, the 14th seed, won five break points to dispatch Bouchard, who has fallen to 129th in the world after reaching a career-high of fifth in 2014 – the year she reached the Wimbledon final.
Home hopes now rest on 21-year-old Françoise Abanda, who defeated qualifier Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-3 6-2.
British number one Johanna Konta fired eight aces en route to a 6-7(6) 6-1 6-2 upset win over 11th-seeded Latvian Jeļena Ostapenko.
Konta, who handed Serena Williams the worst loss of her career at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic last month, will face former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second round on Wednesday.
Azarenka was in complete control as she strolled to a 6-0 6-1 win over Kristina Mladenovic of France in a match that lasted less than an hour.
Daria Kasatkina, seeded 12th, beat rising Greek talent Maria Sakkari 6-4 4-6 6-1 to set up her first career meeting against fellow Russian Maria Sharapova in the second round on Wednesday.
Other players to advance from the first round on Tuesday included Spaniard Carla Suárez Navarro and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who will face top-seeded Simona Halep on Wednesday.
Sixth seed Caroline Garcia of France and eighth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitová advanced to the third round with wins over Slovak Magdaléna Rybáriková and Estonian Anett Kontaveit.