Bouchard's Run To Aussie Semifinals Could Be Sign Of Things To Come For WTA
There will come a day when the WTA "needs new stars" after Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have retired, and with her run to the Australian Open semifinals, Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard is "poised to make her case," according to Courtney Nguyen of SI.com. Bouchard is just a "year and a half into becoming a full-time WTA pro," and what is "most intriguing ... is her no-nonsense demeanor." The "same can be said about her off-court personality," as she is there to "get a job done and that’s her only goal." She has a "singular focus, and that keeps things easy." Bouchard may not have the "charisma" of Sloane Stephens, the "precocious wit" of Laura Robson or the "disarming charm" of Madison Keys, three peers that are a similar age as Bouchard. But that "might be precisely why she wins." Bouchard's marketing potential is "undeniable and her off-season was already spent doing a pretty major media blitz around Canada." Tennis is "still making its way into the public consciousness of the hockey-obsessed nation, but between Bouchard and Milos Raonic, they’re well on their way" (SI.com, 1/21). In Australia, Margie McDonald notes Bouchard will "be in the top 20 by next week," and sponsors "will come running" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/22). The AFP's Talek Harris writes Bouchard's "looks and poise will have sponsors queuing for her signature" (AFP, 1/21).
WHOA, CANADA: REUTERS' Simon Cambers notes Bouchard's victory today made her the "first Canadian into the last four at any grand slam" since Carling Bassett at the '84 U.S. Open. With her "looks and a game that is improving all the time, Bouchard is a sponsor's dream, even if she plays a pretty straight bat to any questions slightly off-message." Bouchard realizes that "coming from a country where ice hockey is the most popular sport, she is facing an uphill battle to bring tennis to the masses." If she "beats Li Na to reach the final in Melbourne, however, things may change just a little." Bouchard: "Hopefully they'll care a little bit more about tennis now. It's definitely not the most popular sport there but I think it's growing, I think it's getting better. I'm just trying to do the best I can for myself, for the country as well" (REUTERS, 1/21). ESPN's Cliff Drysdale noted Bouchard has helped create an "explosion of interest in Canada in this game." Drysdale: "Birth of a superstar.” ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez said, “Bouchard has become the darling of the WTA Tour” ("Australian Open," ESPN2, 1/20).