Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard Pre- Rogers Cup Interview

Genie, in Andre’s biography, he mentioned about being humbled when he went to go back and play a Challenger tournament. I’m just curious if you felt the same way when you entered an ITF tournament earlier this year, I think it was in Florida.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah. It was definitely a humbling experience and a bit of an eye-opening experience as well to see, obviously, the difference in the level of the tournament. I mean, we didn’t even need badges to get on site. You know, people just walked up and there were just so many huge differences.

And it was something I wanted to go do myself and, actually, my whole team was against it, but I’m very glad I did.

And, you know, to see — like, look at all these players and there was great level of tennis, and I didn’t even win the tournament. You know, kind of grinding at this level and, you know, this is what you would have to do if you keep losing, so stop losing.

Q. Genie, the match you played against Maria, you know, obviously got a lot of publicity. If felt like a big occasion. And it seemed like you really did respond to that. Is there anything you can take from that match and your performance there and apply it to other tournaments and matches?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I got confidence by beating a good player and then won my next match beating another really good player. So that’s definitely what I took from it.

Q. What do you like about the City of Toronto, playing here?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I like that you’re here because you’re my favorite reporter.

Q. I’ll be available later.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I love coming to The Six. It’s so cool. I don’t spend much time here, but I do have some family and friends that are here. Although I’m actually staying near the tournament this year and not downtown just to be very focused.

But I do enjoy kind of meeting a whole new bunch of fans that are different than Montreal. So it’s great to be able to play tennis in multiple cities in Canada.

Q. Just going off that, the difference between Montreal and Toronto, is there any less pressure in Toronto just because it’s not your actual hometown?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Maybe a little bit. I think it’s obviously a home tournament, but it’s not home as in the place where I grew up and played tennis at since I was eight years old. So I think a little bit, a little bit less pressure.

Q. Can you explain about your feelings for tomorrow’s game and what kind of challenges you’re going through right now mentally? And also what kind of preparations you’ve done so far for getting ready for tomorrow.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I’ve been training a lot in the summer and I played an event in D.C. last week, and since then have continued training. So that’s been my preparation.

And I just really want to go out and really go for it, not hold back. And, you know, not really let maybe nerves or pressure kind of dictate the way I play.

And so, yeah, I just want to kind of play free.

Q. Andre kind of told you that tennis is simple.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: You love Andre.

Q. And people are complicated. Has Andre kind of simplified your approach to the game nowadays?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Andre told me that tennis is simple and people complicated. So I take that quote very seriously and to heart and try to remember it when I’m on the court.

Q. How much better are you getting at coping with the stress and the nerves? Because a lot of the people remember from the year that you made your breakthrough that you appeared to have no nerves at all and it was something you maybe discovered more as you became better known and people expected more from you. So how are you putting that in its place?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, look, Serena still says she feels nervous before matches. So I don’t think it’s ever something that any athlete completely masters. I think it’s more about how well you deal with it. And it’s just an ongoing battle, really. Some days I feel like I’m better at dealing with it than others.

And I feel like for sure since then I’ve learned more and been able to kind of maybe detach it a little bit and, you know, really make it, okay, this is my job and it’s not, let’s say, so personal.

But it’s an ongoing process. It’s something I’ll always have to deal with for the rest of my career.

Q. What would it feel like to make a deep run inside Canada? You know, there are a lot of eyes on you this week inside your home country.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It would be great. I would love to play great and in Canada, because I don’t get to play here often. And I do feel my country’s support when I’m playing around the world. So I would love more than anything to play well for them, but it will be really hard.

Q. Pretty tough first round match with Donna Vekic. Could you just talk about that just a little bit?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah. She’s a good player. I watched her match at Wimbledon against Konta. That was a really good match, I thought.

So I’ve got to be ready for her really, I think, being pretty aggressive and going for her shots.

And just to have a fun, good battle out there. And, yeah, like I said, just kind of play free and play as well as I can on each point and we’ll see what happens.

Q. Another Andre related question. You got a chance to work with Gil Reyes as well. What was that experience like? Did you get to do any of the drills that he used to do with Andre as well?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I’m not going to reveal our secrets. But I love Gil, he’s a very special person, one of my favorite people in the entire world, and I’ve known him since I was 16. So we have a very good relationship and I’m so grateful whenever I can just spend time with him.