Sometimes it takes a step back to take a step forward in the future. That’s why Genie Bouchard should lay low after her Wimbledon loss.
A year ago, tennis pundits were just counting the days until Canadian superstar Eugenie Bouchard won her first major tournament. Those days seem so long ago right now.
A year after finishing as 2014 Wimbledon runner-up, the WTA No. 12 seed Bouchard was bounced from this year’s tournament in the first round, losing 7-6 (3), 6-4 to No. 117 Duan Yingying. Bouchard went into the match as a big -459 favorite and while there have been a lot of bad loses on her report card this year, this one should sound the alarms.
The Fall of Eugenie Bouchard
Bouchard made it to the quarterfinals in Melbourne in January, but has now piled up eight straight first-round losses.
Before the season many wondered whether Bouchard would struggle after a public coaching change and an offseason that was filled with endorsement commitments. The off-court issues now appear to have had a bigger impact than anyone could have predicted. Enough is enough.
“It’s been a rough time for me these past couple of months, with my tennis and all these changes and a couple of injuries here and there,” Bouchard told reporters after retiring at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Eastbourne.
Yes, Bouchard was battling an abdominal injury heading into Wimbledon and that likely played at least a part in Tuesday’s loss. However, there’s a lot more to this slump than injury concerns.
The 21-year-old didn’t just lose at Wimbledon, she’s completely lost on any court she plays at this point.
“I was just thinking too much on the court,” Bouchard said in Eastbourne. “Tennis, you have to react so quickly and you don’t have time to think. I was thinking about where I was going to hit, how I was going to hit. It just slowed me down so much, and I was hesitating.”
Same thing in Wimbledon. Now, Bouchard has an opportunity to take control of those mental challenges by stepping away from competitive tournaments. After this loss, her ranking will plummet and the critics will swarm, wondering where her game has gone.
This sport has seen far too many young stars burn out early under the spotlight and the pressure. She needs to get off the grid and go on a vacation for a few weeks to clear her head and get back to basics before this slump damages her confidence any further.
Bouchard still has a bright future, but she needs to take a step back now to take a step forward down the road.