Canada's Eugenie Bouchard was a quick out last week as the Canadian fell in the first round of the WTA Brisbane event. However, she earned her first match win of the season in Sydney on Sunday, defeating China's Shuai Zhang. The win represents a victory over the 23rd ranked player in the world so perhaps Bouchard may be getting back to some stronger Tennis.

Bouchard finished 2016 on a poor note

The Canadian's poor results in 2016 were well documented. She failed to win a title, and there were a lot of bad losses down the home stretch of the season.

In the final three tournaments of the year, she fell to players ranked 100th and worse, in one case drawing boos from her hometown crowd in Quebec City. A win over the 23rd-ranked player marks the highest-ranked player she beat since the round of 32 at Montreal last season.

Bouchard's next opponent in Sydney has yet to be decided; however, it could be a pretty tough one. Dominika Cibulkova, the player Bouchard beat in Montreal, and Laura Siegemund have yet to play their first-round match, one that the former will certainly be favored to win. Cibulkova, while Bouchard was struggling in 2016, won the WTA Finals in Singapore, defeating World No. 1 Angelique Kerber in the championship match. If Bouchard plays Cibulkova and wins then it may inject some momentum into the early parts of her 2017 season.

Canadian 66 to 1 to win Aussie

However, the Canadian seems to have much to prove before she regains the confidence of the betting public. Bouchard is three years removed from her epic run to the 2014 Australian Open semifinals. Currently, she is 66 to 1 to win the 2017 event with BetVictor, odds that place her outside of the top ten favorites for the event.

The Aussie starts next week, and that makes the Sydney event important from one point of view. If Bouchard can put together a string of wins, she could enter Melbourne Park with some momentum. However, those same matches may cause fatigue that she would have little time to recover from before play starts at the Aussie on January 16th.