Canadian Eugenie Bouchard pulls in big crowds on and off the court.
Canadian Eugenie Bouchard pulls in big crowds on and off the court.

Bouchard causes pandemonium in NY

EUGENIE Bouchard has again proven she has star power, pulling in a huge crowd as she qualified for the US Open.

The stands were packed and it was standing room only as fans clamoured to see the highest ranked Canadian player chase a place in the final grand slam of the year.

Ranked No. 123 in the world, Bouchard has struggled for form in recent years after reaching a career high of World No. 5 in 2014.

But her struggles haven't affected her appeal as fans were eager to get a close-up view of the 24-year-old.

Bouchard is a social media superstar with over 1.7 million Twitter followers and 1.8 million Instagram fans, where she mixes posts about tennis with updates on her life off the court.

Despite her mediocre ranking, Bouchard remains one of the most marketable athletes in the world. She has pursued modelling gigs in recent years, featuring in the 2018 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and also made the headlines for dating a fan from Twitter after a Super Bowl bet.

However, she is eager to return to prominence in the tennis world.

Bouchard easily qualified for the year's third major at Flushing Meadows, losing just seven games on her way to tallying three easy wins.

After easily dispatching American Jamie Loeb 6-0 6-3 to seal her place at the US Open, Bouchard became the sole Canadian woman to qualify but will be joined by four men's players in Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the main draw.

A former Wimbledon finalist in 2014, Bouchard has had a tough year as she needed to qualify to compete at the All-England Club, where she was knocked out in the second round by Australian Ashleigh Barty.

Bouchard’s fall from grace meant she has had to qualify for Wimbledon and the US Open.
Bouchard’s fall from grace meant she has had to qualify for Wimbledon and the US Open.

Bouchard has tasted some success at Flushing Meadows with two fourth round appearances but has also had some setbacks at the event.

In 2015, she slipped in the locker room and suffered a concussion which led to her missing the remainder of the season and a lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which was settled earlier this year.

Bouchard looks to be finding her feet again after a tough first half 2018. A disappointing second round exit at the Australian Open followed a first-round loss at the Hobart International before she reached the quarterfinals of the Taiwan Open.

She suffered a straight-sets thrashing at the hands of Sachia Vickery in the first round at Indian Wells in March, which preceded two more opening round exits in Charleston and at the French Open.

After Wimbledon, Bouchard failed to progress to the second round at an ITF event in France but kicked into gear in Gstaad, Switzerland, where she qualified for the semi-finals. She'll be hoping for more of the same when she steps onto the court in New York.

Bouchard has been playing lower-level tournaments in a bid to get more matches under her belt ahead of the US Open - an approach praised by tennis legend Chris Evert.

"The thing I like about Genie Bouchard is very much like Andre Agassi did ... starting to play the lower-tiered tournaments, to really win some matches, and to gain that confidence and to gain match practice and really to get her game back, and I like that," Evert said. "I like that she's doing that.

"I think it's going to humble her, and it shows me that she's hungry to get back to close to where she was. I don't think she can get back to where she was, but I don't doubt that she can get back to top 30. I don't see why not.

"She's proven that she has the game to be dangerous when it's on. Her game is to be aggressive, to hit the ball. She's got to work on her moving, to be in position to hit the ball. She's got to work on consistency, and she's getting the matches that she needs right now, and she's gaining more and more confidence.

"I think she's learned a lot. I think she's learned a lot through this adversity the last few years."


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