Eugenie Bouchard Professional Tennis PlayerEugenie "Genie" Bouchard (born February 25, 1994) is a Canadian professional tennis player. She was the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam in singles with her 2012 Wimbledon girls' title. Following the end of the 2013 WTA Tour, she was named WTA Newcomer of the Year. At the 2014 Australian Open, Bouchard became the second Canadian to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam.
Bouchard is known for hitting the ball extremely early and imposing a severely high tempo on her opponent. At the 2014 Australian Open, Ana Ivanovic stated that Eugenie is "a very aggressive player. It's sometimes very hard to read her game. There are no real patterns, like with other players. She's a great mover."
Eugenie Bouchard has become one of the most popular players at this year’s Open; on Sunday, that popularity will be tested when she takes on Casey Dellacqua for a quarter-final berth. There may be some conflicted patriotism in a certain rowdy bunch of spectators when Casey Dellacqua takes on Eugenie Bouchard in a round-of-16 match in Rod Laver Arena tonight.
The comely, 19-year-old Canadian has an enthusiastic cheer squad at Melbourne Park that calls itself ‘Genie’s Army.’ They are all Melburnians and deck themselves in $25 t-shirts that spell out G-E-N-I-E-! – with the emphasis on that exclamation mark.
“Their songs are getting stuck in my head because they’re singing them so much,” Bouchard joked on Friday after her third-round win over Lauren Davis.
Bouchard and Dellacqua, daughters of Commonwealth nations, come from varied backgrounds. Bouchard, of French-Canadian and Irish-Canadian ancestry, grew up in the Montreal suburb of Westmount on the same street as former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Dellacqua, was raised in an Italian-heritage family in Perth, with a grandmother who was the eldest of 10 children and who, according to Casey, “is a lovely lady, loves every one of us (grandchildren) equally.”
As Dellacqua, ranked No. 120, noted on Friday, “even eight months ago I was playing a couple of $50,000 (Challenger) events in Bendigo.” Eight months ago, Bouchard was already in Philippe Chatrier Court at Roland Garros playing Maria Sharapova (a loss), and then a month later faced Ana Ivanovic (a win) in Centre Court at Wimbledon.
So the 178cm Canadian, Wimbledon junior champion in 2012, has experience on the biggest stages and should not be over-awed at Rod Laver Arena. Dellacqua, 28 and 165cm, is aware of Bouchard’s ability, saying, “she’s a very quality player. She’s seeded (30) here. She’s on the rise. She’s got a great serve. She’s going to be tough.” For all Bouchard’s showbiz glitz – Nike photo-shoots with Sharapova and Roger Federer etc. – she’s a tough-as-nails, highly-driven competitor.
She has powerful ground strokes the like of which Dellacqua has not faced so far at Melbourne Park. Dealing with them will be the West Australian’s No. 1 priority, along with more seasonal temperatures and not the extremes that allowed her feel “solar-powered” in her last two matches.
Like Dellacqua, Ana Ivanovic will face a big challenge against an opponent’s ruthless shotmaking – and so far in four career meetings with Serena Williams, the 26-year-old Serb has yet to win more than four games in a set. Still, Ivanovic has nothing to lose and should feel liberated after Friday’s rollercoaster win over Samantha Stosur.
Li Na is also playing with house money after surviving a match point against Lucie Safarova in the third round. She is 4-0 versus next opponent Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, but their matches have usually been close.
The most intriguing of Sunday’s men’s matches has sturdy Swiss Stan Wawrinka playing Tommy Robredo. The 31-year-old Spaniard is having a brilliant second act to his career after three mediocre seasons marred by a leg injury that required surgery. It’s surprising he carries a 6-1 head-to-head advantage over Wawrinka going into the Rod Laver Arena match tonight, winning both meetings in 2013.
Less of a surprise is that Tomas Berdych is 9-0 versus Kevin Anderson, with all those matches in 2012-13, and that Novak Djokovic is unbeaten (6-0) against flamboyant Fabio Fognini.
Getting back to Bouchard-Dellacqua, if ‘Genie’s Army’ is able to get tickets and make its presence felt, and the world famous ‘Fanatics’ are in their usual rambunctious form supporting Dellacqua, Rod Laver patrons are in for a good old Aussie stoush tonight.