Bouchard ready to lead youth movement

Sunday, April 06, 2014 /by
AP
AP

Eugenie Bouchard is not looking to take the long way to the top, trying to defy the recent tendency for players to do well at an older age.

Some players in their teens and early twenties are now prepared to wait a few years for their best results.

"Yeah, I don't feel that way at all," Bouchard, 20, said at Charleston, where she made the semifinals. "The game is for sure a little bit older with Serena and Li Na, for example, doing well into their thirties, but for me I'm playing here and now. I want to do the best that I can right away.

"I don't want to be kind of relaxed about it. Of course, each match winning is out of my control, but I want to do the best I can... And I want to have ten successful years, not five slow ones and five good," she added.

After reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, Bouchard admitted she had to adjust and had a few tough defeats.

"I felt like, okay, I lost to a few players who can play very well on days, and if I'm not at my top, really anyone in the Top 50, Top 100, everyone can play. So I just wasn't maybe mentally pushing as hard as I can," she said. "I definitely had a few tough tournaments, trips, matches, and  it really made me learn a lot.

"But it really made me get back to the practice courts and work really hard, and even after Indian Wells, I worked really hard on the practice court, had a tough match and then went back to the practice courts again, so I feel like my game has improved a lot since Australia."

But the 2012 junior Wimbledon champion is convinced she is mentally ready to become a consistent presence on the tour.

"I've experienced a solid year of being on the tour, seeing what its really like to be a professional tennis player, and I love it," she said. "I think I've shown to myself how mentally strong I can be."

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