The Australian Open 2021 Qualifiers are currently underway in Dubai. There, former World No. 5 Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard has cleared her first-round match against Australian wildcard Abbie Myers 6-2, 6-3.
After her breakthrough year in 2014, Bouchard hit a great slump and is still recovering from it. Presently at 140th rank, she is looking to make her seventh appearance in the main draw of the Happy Slam.
Since the resumption of tennis in August last year, the 26-year-old Canadian has won 26 of her 36 matches. The reason for this renewed strength is her trip to Las Vegas she made amid the pandemic.
The former strength coach of Andre Agassi, Gil Reyes, took the 2014 Wimbledon finalist under his mentorship. Both Agassi and wife Steffi Graf also provided her with some invaluable tips to get stronger.
As a result, Bouchard came out stronger and thirstier than before to win the tournaments. The Canadian also revealed the real intentions behind working on her physicality.
Eugenie answered, “I just wanted to feel physically so strong that I didn’t want the physical aspect to be a hindrance or an excuse ever in any match.”
Bouchard, along with tennis fans, can already see the fruits of her hard work.
“I have confidence, I know I can stay out there for three hours, I can outlast anyone in three sets. So it just kind of removes that from the equation,” said the Canadian.
While the world stayed at home, Eugenie trained for a high ranking. Therefore, when tennis resumed, she wasted no time to show that her hard-hitting personality is back.
“I spent the whole quarantine training. And it was really tough not to be able to have tournaments,” she explained. “I kind of felt like an animal let out of a cage when we were finally able to play tournaments. So I was super motivated and I felt very strong and very prepared.”
Taking this forward, she will want to see through the qualifiers, unlike last year. In 2020, Eugenie dropped out of the Australian Open Qualifiers in the last round.
However, her decisive shots combined with her powerful force are indisputably indomitable, at least in Dubai. Do you think Bouchard will make the main draw or slip again like last time?