Eugenie Bouchard may be the hottest name on the WTA tour and playing this weekend’s Rogers Cup in her hometown of Montreal in front of her Genie Army, but you’d better believe she has her work cut out for her.
Bouchard heads into the tournament with a first-round bye but was still seeded seventh in one of the tournament’s strongest fields in recent memory. Bouchard has accomplished a lot over the past year, but she still has a ways to go against rivals like the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova, all of whom are playing in Montreal.
However, the 20-year old Canadian has been praised for her aggressiveness and mental strength. Her game on the court can overwhelm opponents and now she’ll have the crowd behind her too. If you thought Bouchard’s following was big when she marched all the way to the Wimbledon finals, just wait to see what it’s like when she’s playing in her hometown.
“It makes it more exciting for me,” Bouchard told the Montreal Gazette. “I always feel support from my country and my city so to be able to play in front of them will be exciting.”
Bouchard is certainly the main attraction at this tournament and she’ll have more than just her fellow Canadians in her corner. Six of the original founders of the Genie Army from Australia will also be in Montreal this weekend. A group 20-somethings first banded together in support of Bouchard at this year’s Australian Open.
The women’s competition runs from Aug. 1-10 in Montreal’s Uniprix Stadium while the men play Aug. 2-11 in Toronto’s Rexall Centre. Milos Raonic is the seventh seed in the men’s side of the bracket.
Odds are not yet available for the Rogers Cup, but it stands to reason that Bouchard will be near the top of the board when they’re posted. She’s already listed as the second-favorite for the US Open, pegged at +506. Serena Williams is the tournament favorite at +189.