MELBOURNE - Eugenie Bouchard saw off Virginie Razzano of France 6-2, 7-6 to reach the third round of the Australian Open, clinching victory Wednesday on her seventh match point to equal her best grand slam performance to date.
The native of Westmount, Que., a former Wimbledon junior champion who turns 20 next month, is developing a large following wherever she goes and was given a cuddly koala by one of her fans after the match.
Seeded for the first time at a grand slam, Bouchard admitted that breaking through at the grand slam level is far from easy.
"It think it's still really tough," she told reporters. "There are some of us who are kind of breaking through a little bit but we still have a lot of tough moments.
"I think the older, experienced players are still dominating but as time goes on, I think I'll do better. I've gained experience in the past year and hopefully I can start doing better right away."
Bouchard will face 68th-ranked American Lauren Davis on Friday.
Vasek Pospisil is also onto the next round after overcoming an early stumble in defeating Australia's Matthew Ebden 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(9), 6-1 at Rod Laver Arena.
The native of Vernon, B.C., received an injury timeout for his lingering back issues after dropping the first set.
"I just tried to hang tough," he told the official tournament site. "About midway through the third set it wasn't feeling good, so I took some painkillers. The physio said though I couldn't make it any worse."
The 28th seed won the next two sets in the tie-break before finishing off the 67th-ranked Australian in two hours 49 minutes.
Pospisil's next opponent is eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.