by Bob Stockton
Eugenie Bouchard’s Swiss Open came to a premature end when injury meant she had to retire from her semi-final match against Alize Cornet. Bouchard had lost the opening set but couldn’t carry on in the second where she was trailing 1-0 after a groin injury forced her off the court. It was the furthest Bouchard had got in any tournament over the last 18 months so there will be feelings of hope but also disappointment from her fans.
After the turbulent few years Bouchard has had, winning the Swiss Open would have done her the world of good. Her withdrawal from the event is another let down in a career that has been blighted by disappointment over recent years. Looking at Bouchard’s career it’s hard to say whether she still has the desire to get to the top after she promised so much early on.
The world looked at her feet after she made it through to the Wimbledon final in 2014 at the age of twenty and despite being thrashed by Petra Kvitova in 55 minutes there was still reason to be positive about the future. The next few years would see her tumble down the rankings from fifth in the world in 2014 to 123rd as of July 2018.
Her young career hasn’t been without controversy either after a fall in a locker room during the 2015 US Open led to her suffering from a concussion and missing the rest of the season. Bouchard took the USTA to court and sued for missed earnings over that time and a jury apportioned 75% of the blame to the USTA meaning Bouchard earned a multimillion-dollar payout.
Rather tellingly Bouchard has requested that her social media posts be kept out the trial as they ‘painted a misleadingly sunny portrait of her life since the injury.’ The request was denied by the judge but in many ways, it does sum up the contentious issue hovering over Bouchard’s career.
Bouchard is somewhat of an Instagram star as she provides daily updates to the 1.7 million followers she has of her lavish lifestyle and that has fans questioning how focused she is on winning. On the way back from the Swiss Open she posted pictures onboard a private plane drinking prosecco and some will be wondering what there was to toast after another tournament of not making a final or winning. You couldn’t imagine the true champions of the sport like Serena Williams, Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal taking any delight whatsoever in that sort of outcome.
Could it be that Bouchard has found the extra gear that has been missing and feels that she is good enough to climb towards the top of the women’s game again? Time will tell but there wouldn’t be a better place to make a statement then the US Open in August. Many would have written Bouchard off and at 150/1 in tennis betting to win the US Open it’s easy to see why but at only 24 she still has a lot left to give and has proved in the past that she is more than capable of mixing it with the very best.
Of late Bouchard has turned in mediocre performance after mediocre performance but has still earned $234,353 on tour this year which makes up part of her on-court career earnings of $5,950,874. You don’t have to be a critical thinker to match the dots up quite easily when wondering where Bouchard’s lack of desire may be coming from after assessing her financial returns so far.
Bouchard’s magic hasn’t run out but it looks like she isn’t willing to give as much of it in the pursuit to get to the top again. Genie is obviously a very talented tennis player but until she commits herself completely to the cause again she will keep rubbing tennis fans up the wrong way.