Eugenie Bouchard may not have left Centre Court as the first Canadian Grand Slam winner, but she did leave with invaluable experience and a wealth of knowledge about competing on a grand stage such as Wimbledon.
The 20-year-old Canadian darling worked her way through a formidable draw to arrive at her final obstacle in 2011 champion Petra Kvitova. It was never going to be an easy encounter and the tide quickly turned against Bouchard. The youngster was unable to get her game going and struggled singificantly with her serve throughout the contest, ultimately surrendering the match 6-3, 6-0.
“Well, I first of all have to give full credit to my opponent. She played unbelievable and didn’t give me many opportunities. She’s been playing well all tournament and was really going for it today. I started well and was in there, but I didn’t feel like I was able to play my game. She really took the chances away from me and was putting a lot of pressure on me. I didn’t have many opportunities. But sometimes your opponent just plays better than you, and that’s what happened today.”
Although the match didn’t go her way, Bouchard enjoyed the overall experience in the final, particularly the different tradition that separate The Championships from other events.
“It was very special. It was different. We were holding flowers instead of our tennis bags. The applause was really loud when we walked out. That’s the main thing that registered in my mind. I just felt so grateful to be able to walk out on a stage and have a chance to perform and do what I love.”
Bouchard is aware that not many Grand Slam winners are able to achieve that dream on the first try. She will look to build off her fortnight at SW19 and will be back in the finals to win the title at some point in the near future.
“I think it’s a tough road to try to become as good as I want to be no matter what. I’m not going to win every single time. I think this was a good experience for me, my first Slam final. I’m going to learn a lot from this and hopefully use it to get much better. I’m very motivated to win a Grand Slam. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine. I feel like I’ve taken steps in the right direction. This year I’ve been close in every Slam, so I’ll just keep going.”