Can Eugenie Bouchard Break Her Grand Slam Jinx in 2021?

Published 01/06/2021, 12:00 PM EST
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in action during a pratice session prior to the Fed Cup match between Switzerland and Canada on in Biel,Switzerland. (Photo by Tennis Canada/MB Media/Getty Images)


Though she has returned to action after taking an indefinite break from tennis, Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard has had to start from scratch in the quest of regaining her lost ground in women’s tennis.

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Eugenie Bouchard has started from scratch to put career back on track

The Canadian made the quarter-finals of the Istanbul Open, a calendar WTA event, in 2020, but she failed to land a spot in the main women’s draw of the Australian Open.

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She was only a win away from securing qualification for the event, but lost her final qualifying tie.

Bouchard did make amends by reaching the main draw at Roland-Garros last year and progressed to the third round, beating Anna Kalinskaya of Russia and Daria Gavrilova of Australia.

However, her campaign was cut short in the Round of 64 as she went down in straight sets to 19-year-old Pole Iga Swiatek, the eventual champion.

She didn’t play the US Open, possibly owing to concerns around the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Bouchard will go into Grand Slams as an underdog

Looking ahead to the new season, if you were a betting person, would you be putting your money on the Canadian ending her Grand Slam title drought at Melbourne Park or the other Grand Slams that follow this year?

Will she also make a mark on the women’s Tour, bridging home elite titles?

While your mind will say ‘maybe not’, deep down, you will wish for her to flash a triumphant smile at the Rod Laver Arena or the Roland-Garros or the All-England Club and hold aloft her maiden Major trophy.

Why? Because hardcore tennis fans, who have followed her progress since she turned pro, know full well that she has grossly under-achieved considering the wealth of talent at her disposal.

Bouchard broke into the fray as a potential reigning queen in women’s tennis, but her career took an unexpected turn.

Former finishing runner-up to Czech star Petra Kvitova in the final of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and winning her only WTA Tour title to date, she seemingly lost her way.

Istanbul Open run showed Bouchard has still got the goods

A run of losses led many to question if she even had the desire to skip to the next level in terms of career accomplishments. The announcement of an indefinite break from tennis only added to such fears.

While she has answered her skeptics on that count, the women’s game has progressed and new stars have emerged while she was away. In fact, it was one of the next-gen superstars in the women’s game who put her out of the French Open.

Going into the Australian Open, should she qualify, Bouchard would do well to be mindful that the field has leveled out and she will have to approach every game as an underdog.

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However, as was evident in the Istanbul Open, the 26-year-old has lost none of the skills that once saw her being touted as a future superstar.

While her grit and stamina at Majors and big-ticket WTA events will be tested in long rallies against top players, her trademark shots still have enough sting to challenge the best on her day.

DIVE DEEPER

How Can Eugenie Bouchard Qualify for Australian Open 2021?

6 months ago

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Tennis fans, while not setting their expectations too high, will quietly hope that the two-time semifinalist finally breaks her Grand Slam jinx and gets to prove her mettle to detractors.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

990 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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