Only 19 years old, Eugenie Bouchard has a limitless future in the WTA. After becoming the first Canadian ever to win a Grand Slam title in 2012 (a win over Elina Svitolina at the junior Wimbledon), she followed up with her best-ever WTA ranking in 2013, as she climbed to 32.
A member of Tennis Canada’s National Training Centre in Montreal, she also had a world junior ranking of No.2 following her Wimbledon victory. While it seems like she is an overnight sensation, she has paid her dues in the sport since 2005. At the tender age of 15, she captured her first Canadian indoor Under-18 title along with a Pan American Closed ITF championship victory.
Her landmark 2013 reached new heights when she was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year. Only the second Canadian to win the award (Carling Bassett was the first in 1983), she would experience a landmark year. Beginning the year with a world ranking of 144, the native of Westmount, Quebec had a series of strong performances. Including a finals appearance at Osaka and a match at Roland-Garros against Maria Sharapova, she would also post her best performance at Wimbledon, defeating former world no.1 Ana Ivanoic in straight sets on Centre Court.
Also beating Jelena Jankovic, another former number 1, it resulted in an epic season that saw the prodigy make a remarkable climb in the rankings. Moving up an astounding 112 spots, her ranking of 32 makes her Canada’s most remarkable female athlete this year.
Past winners of the award included Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.
Of note, a victory over world-ranked No. 42 Laura Robson at the Family Circle Cup marked her first Top 50 win. Her confidence would only increase with a win over former US Open champion Samantha Stosur.
Sitting on 32, it makes her the world’s highest ranked tonnage players. Careening on the court with a remarkable confidence, she would push Serena Williams to three-sets in a match in Cincinnati before losing. After a strong showing, she made it to the first WTA Singles final event of her career at the HP Open. Stosur would avenge her previous loss by besting her in the final.
Known affectionately as Genie, fans are hoping there is a lot more magic from this tennis prodigy to come in 2014. With strong poise and tremendous confidence for a player who has not yet reached her 20th birthday, she has the potential to become the catalyst towards inspiring more young Canadian women to take up tennis. As Canada has underachieved globally in tennis, Bouchard’s promising career presents hope that Canada can begin a golden era of dominance on the world stage.