Eugenie Bouchard Starts 2017 WTA Season Badly in Brisbane

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard is out of the WTA Brisbane event following a first-round loss.

Eugenie Bouchard certainly didn’t have a great year in 2016, especially toward the latter parts. The closing months of the season saw her lose in the early rounds of tournament after tournament. The off-season may have been good for the former Wimbledon runner-up, however there wasn’t much basis for that opinion on Sunday from Brisbane. The Canadian suffered a first-round defeat at the hands of American Shelby Rogers.

Brisbane is a low-tiered tournament in Australia, the country where Bouchard first started to make a name for herself three years ago. She enthralled Tennis Canada and the world when she made a run to the 2014 Aussie semifinals, a result that really put her name on the map at the age of 19. She would also go deep at the French Open that year and it was the year she made the Wimbledon final as well, losing to Petra Kvitova there. Since then Bouchard’s fans have waited for something out of her again but Rogers, as she did at the 2014 Rogers Cup, will make them wait longer after the American won on Sunday 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

The Canadian is clearly a case of dormant talent. She’s still just 22 years of age with her birthday coming up in February. Her youth and the success she enjoyed in her younger years is central to the oddness with her. Most players tucked just inside the Top 50 at the age of 22 would seem like rising stars. However, Bouchard actually seems more like she’s washed-up. Tennis players do bump into old age quicker than athletes in other sports, however 22 is about 7 or 8 years premature still. That being the case, the Canadian’s problems have to be upstairs or have something to do with desire.

2017 has only just begun. In fact, in Bouchard’s native Canada the year has not even started at time of writing. However, she’s out of the Brisbane draw already and she doesn’t really feel like a contender coming up at the Australian Open. So far, there’s no reason to believe that she’ll reverse the poor form that she concluded the 2016 season with and that’s certainly going to be disappointing to her fans.

Shane Lambert