Canadian up-and-comer Eugenie Bouchard was one of the few teenagers to experience a breakthrough season in 2013. The 19 year old rose from No. 144 to close out the season at No. 32, which is the biggest jump of any teenager on the tour. To top it off, Bouchard also won the WTA Newcomer of the Year award to signify her extraordinary achievements this season.
“I think it’s a bunch of factors, not something specific,” Bouchard said. “It’s really my first full year on the pro tour, I learned a lot. Playing week in and week out against great players, and even great champions, is really tough, and it makes you mentally tough. I think that helped me improve, and gave me a lot of experience for the rest of the year, so those big matches helped me a lot.”
“To be the second Canadian only is a cool thing I think, and obviously it’s a great award and it’s an honour to be named the newcomer of the year. So I’m proud of that,” said Bouchard.Article Continues Below Ad
The Canadian moved over 100 spots in the 2013 season and is now aware that the jumps will be a lot smaller as she gets higher in the rankings. The competition will only get more difficult from here.
“And then each small move, each small jump is more significant,” she said. “Strategy-wise, I have my coach [Nick Saviano] and I’m just going to train really hard in this off-season and try to improve. I don’t think there’s a secret recipe, just a lot of hard work will definitely go into it on the practice court and then once I’m in matches as well, really work hard and try to be the best I can be.”
While Bouchard has gained a significant amount of experience this season, she does not get the sense that she will get bored of her career anytime soon.
“I think it’s hard to have that feeling … when you walk onto the grounds at the Australian Open or any Grand Slam or any tournament for that matter,” Bouchard said. “Tennis is what I love doing, so I’m never going to get bored of it, and I’m never going to feel like I’m tired of it.
“I’m saying that now, but maybe when I’m ready to retire at 30, maybe I’ll have that feeling. But for now, it’s what I love doing, I can’t think of doing anything else, and I’m just going to go into every tournament with the same energy and motivation that I’ve always had and always will have.”