Looking back on it, 2014 was a pretty great year for Canadian tennis sensation Eugenie Bouchard. However, if she has it her way, 2014 will look like just the tip of the iceberg.
Bouchard was named the WTA’s Most Improved Player for 2014 on Tuesday and deservedly so. Bouchard, a native of Westmount, Quebec, was ranked as high as No. 5 on the tour rankings while reaching two Grand Slam semifinals and playing in the Wimbledon final.
Since then, her life has changed drastically. She’s now one of the most popular young faces of women’s tennis and expectations have never been higher. Bouchard already sits fourth on the odds board to win Wimbledon next year at +800 and sixth on the odds board to win the Australian Open at +1000.
To meet those lofty expectations, Bouchard intends to cut down on the number of tournaments she plays next season. Last year her reported earnings topped $3 million, but she admits a busy schedule can take its toll.
“When you go deeper into the draws, especially at bigger tournaments, it’s just so much more stressful on the body and the mind,” Bouchard said in a conference call earlier this week. “It’s important to have those rest periods.
“(But) it’s hard for me to scale down tournaments because I love playing and I’m so competitive.”
That competitive nature is one of the 20-year-old’s strongest attributes, but she’s also grounded and is handling disappointment better already. After being ousted from the Rogers Cup in her hometown city of Montreal following her Wimbledon final appearance, she took the setback with a grain of salt.
“It just showed me how much I can still improve,” Bouchard said. “I feel like I’ve raised my level so much this year, but I feel like I can still do so much better.”