Eugenie Bouchard always has plenty of support on tour.
Eugenie Bouchard always has plenty of support on tour.

Happy ending for Bouchard’s biggest fan

Eugenie Bouchard has her fair share of fans but 22-year-old Jeffrey Kinder has got to be the biggest - and most extreme.

Kinder was spotted in the crowd at the ASB Classic in Auckland supporting Bouchard as the former Wimbledon finalist bowed out to No. 2 seeded Julia Goerges 6-3 3-6 6-7 in a thrilling quarter-final match.

Sporting a red and white Canadian cap while holding a massive homemade banner which read "Win or lose, Genie forever", Kinder quickly went viral on social media.

Speaking to The NZ Herald after the match, Kinder revealed the extreme lengths he had gone to in order to catch a glimpse of his tennis hero, admitting that he even waited outside her hotel last week in hopes to see her arrive before the tournament.

Respect, Jeffrey.
Respect, Jeffrey.

And just two days before departing Sydney, Kinder said he had spent more than 20 hours designing and making the giant red banner.

But it was all worth it in the end after Kinder managed to catch the eye of Bouchard who later retweeted the photo calling him her "new boyfriend".

"She called me over, she was looking in the crowd and asked where I was … she appreciates my support," Kinder said.

"She's going to add me to a Twitter group and she might get me some tickets for Sunday's doubles final."

It's not the first time Kinder has gone to crazy lengths to get close to the Canadian tennis star.

First spotting her on the court at Hobart in 2013, Kinder said he has been a fan and followed her tennis career ever since.

"From that moment on I thought she could be a good player in the future and a year later she made it to the Wimbledon final," he said.

"Hopefully she can get back to the very top."

Bouchard thanked her fans for their support after her quarter-final matchup, giving Kinder a particular shoutout.

"It's really special to see them wearing T-shirts that say my name on it and specifically one fan who I gave a hug to after doubles today," she said.

"His name is Jeffrey and he's actually from Sydney and he travels to almost all of my tournaments in this area of the world, so I just appreciate his support so much.

"It's amazing. Tennis is so universal so it's really cool for people to watch and enjoy it, it's an honour."

Despite spooking some of the security guards at the event, Bouchard wanted to show her appreciation to her superfan.

"All the security guards were freaking out. I was like, 'I just wanted to give you a hug'," she said.

"He travelled here, and he's here alone and he's just watching my matches all day long. He watched like five hours of tennis today. I don't know, when I see someone make an effort like that it's really special.

"If I was a kid would I ever think someone would fly to go see me play tennis like this? Life is crazy. I just like to give back. My fans know that I love them and I care about them, so I wanna spend as much time as I can with them."

Bouchard ended her season last year with an impressive semi-finals run at the Luxembourg Open in October, which included a win against Carla Suarez-Navarro. Bouchard lost to Goerges in that tournament, and the same happened again in Auckland, but there were plenty of positives to take from the clash.

Goerges, ranked No. 14 in the world, praised Bouchard following Friday's three-set win, saying she thinks there's more to come from the former No. 5 ranked Canadian.

"She's working hard and we know that she's capable of playing great tennis, so I expected a tough match," Goerges said.

"Everybody can play tennis, but what we saw today, I think she's developed totally in the right direction … I'm pretty sure she's going to go right up the rankings again."

This story originally appeared on the NZ Herald and was republished with permission


Rams defeat Casino to move to second place

Rams defeat Casino to move to second place

RAMS play at home this weekend for only the second time.

Maps reveal potential 'catastrophic' danger

Maps reveal potential 'catastrophic' danger

20,000 firefighters in NSW and parts of QLD are bracing for worst

Bushfire app could save your life

Bushfire app could save your life

The Fires Near Me app is a free app to download