Genie Bouchard may be getting ready for her professional pickleball debut, but there’s still plenty of tennis left to play—and if she had her way, she'd play “just like” Novak Djokovic.

The 29-year-old was traveling to Spain to join Team Canada at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Seville, when one hilarious interaction with a customs official left her in stitches:

“At customs in Germany and when I tell the officer I’m continuing on to Spain to play a tennis tournament he goes ‘Oh so you are a professional? Like Novak Djokovic?’” she wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Yes sir, just like that,” she added with a crying-with-laughter emoji.


Bouchard, who peaked at world No. 5 after reaching the 2014 Wimbledon final, took the flattering comparison in stride. Coincidentally, Djokovic was also in the Wimbledon men’s final that same year, and defeated Roger Federer 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 for the title.

Their careers have diverged since then, with Djokovic racking up 24 Grand Slam titles while the Canadian—currently ranked No. 266 and with one career WTA title to her name—is set to switch to pickleball next year.

In September, the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) announced Bouchard was joining the PPA Tour in 2024, a move they called “one of the biggest signings of the year." She’s set to join a wave of former pro-tennis players including Jack Sock, Sam Querrey and Donald Young making the switch, while several more—like former No. 1s Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka—have financially invested in the growing sport.


Before she makes her debut, Bouchard will suit up for Canada for the first time in five years, joining Leylah Fernandez, Rebecca Marino, Gabriela Dabrowski and Marina Stakusic at the Bilie Jean King Cup Finals.

Her last appearance came in April 2018, when Canada hosted Ukraine in a World Group II play-off. Bouchard won both of her singles matches in Team Canada’s 3-2 victory.

Canada will face Spain in Group C at Estadio de La Cartuja on November 8.