Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard was the underdog going into her match against Croatia’s Donna Vekic who is ranked No.51. It wasn’t a pretty match on either sides with multiple double faults and forced errors.
For the 18th time since early 2016 Bouchard has had a first round exit in a tournament. After her loss in straight sets she played her doubles match with partner No.1 ranked Karolina Pliskova. They won the game in straight sets.
Bouchard then addressed the media where she is drawing some controversy again for her comments. She was asked about fellow Canadian Bianca Andreescu who is also competing in the Rogers Cup. Bouchard went on to say that Andreescu was nice and it’s good ‘someone else can have the burden of Canada.”
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, yeah. I mean, tough match in singles. I think I just made too many unforced errors, you know. I’m obviously a bit low in confidence right now. So it’s tough to get through tough matches when you’re in a moment like that.Q. There’s a couple of tournaments in a row now where you’re playing doubles. Is that something that you’re purposefully trying to incorporate more in your game and how did that a partnership with Karolina come about?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, it’s something I thought about doing a little more to get more match play. To me, even if it’s doubles, and I generally am more of a singles player, it’s still pressure of a match, and better than practice and more fun than practice.
So I’ll do it a little more I think in the future. So, yeah, it was fun today.
Q. Last year — actually, a couple of years ago, I think you played with Vesnina at the US Open, played with Pliskova today. Is it fun for you to kind of get to know the different players on the tour just outside of tennis, just like even interacting with them on court?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, it’s fun to play with some of the girls. Most of the ones that I have played with have been very kind of relaxed about the doubles on the court. And we more just go for our shots and have fun and try some strategy here and there and just kind of try to improve as players.
So it’s been great to get to know some of the girls for sure.
Q. In your singles match, especially in the first set, I think Donna was hitting with you a lot of drop shots, not dissimilar to what Sevastova was doing in that French Open match. I know you were dealing with that ankle injury back then. It seemed like you had a lot more success getting up to those balls in this match. How is your ankle feeling? Did you have any trouble or discomfort? I noticed you were wearing a brace on it later on.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah. I was just too lazy to get it taped. Actually, that’s why I wore a brace in the doubles.
But I felt fine out there with my ankle. And I think I was — I don’t know what the stats are, but I definitely won some of those points when she did drop shots, so I felt comfortable.
Q. Just when you spoke about confidence, do you have any strategies to try and maybe get it back up to the level that you had before?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Win matches.
Q. Just to get back to how that partnership with Karolina Pliskova came about for this tournament and also just your thoughts on the potential that Bianca, who plays tonight, is showing already in her young career.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, Karolina just texted me out of the blue last week and said, Do you want to play? And I said, Sure.
I mean, you don’t say no to No. 1 in the world, right? But I’m super grateful she asked. And she’s a very chill person, and it’s cool.
Q. As for Bianca Andreescu, just the potential you see in her as a new emerging player?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I think she’s a good player. I practiced with her a little bit last week in D.C., and I think she had a good run last week. So, you know, someone else can carry the burden of Canada.
Q. Do we all need to, the media and the fans, relax and say, you’re only 23 years old and there’s lots of time left in your career? And a lot of people put all of this pressure and expectations on you and that. It’s a process and things eventually will work out for you? Is that how you feel?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yes and no. I mean, I guess I’m relatively young, but I feel old in a way. You know, I’ve been on tour a bunch of years already.
And I think it’s important to feel the pressure of time a little bit, to get into action, you know, and not just relax and let years go by. That would be the worst thing I could do.
But if the media doesn’t put pressure on me, I mean, that would be nice.
Q. A lot of people — and if you follow social media, we all know what a cesspool social media is, but especially following a loss like today people will say, Why doesn’t Genie spend the time she does on the court like she does with off-the-court obligations, social media? People who follow this sport and cover you say you put a ton of work in. What do you say to the fans that say that she’s worried about the other stuff and not the on-court performance?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I would say you have no idea what my life is like and what my days are like.
Q. When you have as large a presence as you have on social media and are going through the difficulty you’re going through right now, how difficult is it to juggle the two really contrasting things?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I’m not sure I understand the question.
Q. You have an enormous presence online, on Twitter and in so many different areas, and now you’re struggling on court. How do you juggle the two at once?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I don’t think they’re exclusive. I mean, you know, one is my result on the court and the other is promotion, sponsors, selfies I take. I don’t think one really has to do with the other, and that’s how I see it.