Sharon Fichman outplayed in Wimbledon debut

WIMBLEDON – Canadian Sharon Fichman had little grass-court experience at the highest level before taking Court 7 Tuesday.

And in some ways, it showed. She was outplayed by qualifier Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland, and went down 6-1, 6-3. The match score would have looked even worse, had she not had a brief surge at the end as Bacsinzsky was trying to close it out.

Here are some photos from the match.

She had beaten Bacsinszky two of the last three times they had played – the most recent a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2, thumping in the final of a $100,000 event in France last month. And the one she lost was an absolute heartbreaker, in a third-set tiebreaker. But all those meetings were on clay. This was absolutely new territory.

Fichman had three matches at a lower-level event the second week of the French Open, and one match at the WTA Tour-level tournament in Birmingham two weeks ago before making her debut at the biggest one of them all.

Bacsinszky won that lower-level tournament, playing in Nottingham. And this was her fifth time in the Wimbledon main draw. Just 24 but seems much older than that because she's been around so long. Just turned 15, she was on a Swiss Fed Cup squad missing top players Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder that came to a suburb of Montreal for a tie a decade ago and beat the young Canadian team and included a young Aleksandra Wozniak and Stéphanie Dubois.

She's had injuries; she's had crises of confidence and motivation, and that's how she found herself in the qualifying at Roehampton last week. But she's currently ranked No. 85, just one spot below Fichman although the rise came after the cutoff for Wimbledon qualifying.

But she strikes the ball beautifully. And on this occasion, she served very well. Anything Fichman produced that was short in the court – and there was a lot of it – was simply crushed.

The 23-year-old Canadian tried a few things here and there – drop shots, a couple of serve-and-volley plays – but there wasn't nearly enough of that, and her defence just wasn't effective enough to create any sort of doubt in Bacsinzsky's mind.

She was strong and consistent throughout, and Fichman's singles effort at this year's Wimbledon is over.

She'll now focus on the doubles, where she's playing with up-and-coming teenager Donna Vekic of Croatia, who upset No. 21 seed Roberta Vinci of Italy in singles Tuesday. They meet the team of Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Kimiko Date-Krumm Wednesday.