Bouchard Reacts To Nightmare Pickleball Debut By Losing Three Matches In One Day

Bouchard Reacts To Nightmare Pickleball Debut By Losing Three Matches In One Day

by Nurein Ahmed

Eugenie Bouchard's first leap of faith into life on the professional pickleball tour was one to forget as Canadian was soundly beaten on her debut.

Bouchard joined the rolling parade of former tennis players switching allegiance and taking up the new paddle sport. The 29-year-old played her last professional tennis match in September 2023 in Guadalajara, and in the same month, she announced her decision to become a pickleball pro.

Last November, Bouchard was nominated for Canada's team at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals but was not selected to play matches. Nevertheless, she was part of the entourage that made history in Seville as Canada won its first-ever title in the premier women's tennis team competition.

Although Bouchard has not formally retired from tennis, she has committed to play pickleball in 2024 and announced her professional debut last month. The former Wimbledon finalist played pickleball for the first time this week at the Hyundai Masters, a pro pickleball event on the PPA tour.

Bouchard lost all three of her matches at the tournament on Wednesday, one of which came in singles, where she dropped two successive sets to Ekaterina Biakina 11-1 and 11-7, respectively. Bouchard also fell in mixed doubles while partnering Tyler Loong and in women’s doubles and was eliminated.

After the experience, the one-time WTA titlist told that she needed to accumulate more matches and is yearning to feature in a host of tournaments in order to get into a competitive groove. Bouchard also noted that she was nervous during her debut, having to test waters she'd never immersed herself in before.

"This was so different and new. It was the fear of the unknown. I had months of practice but I didn’t know what to expect. It was nerve-wracking."

"I’m going to play a bunch of events this year and the competitive person in me wants to do the best I can. I need to get some practice in and some more matches in."

"I need to get out there in the heat of the moment. The positive thing is, I got some points and didn’t completely embarrass myself. I’m proud that I was able to stay calm and get some points in that second game."


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