'This Is An Exploratory Year': Bouchard Opens Up On Tennis Future After Missing Wimbledon

'This Is An Exploratory Year': Bouchard Opens Up On Tennis Future After Missing Wimbledon

by Nurein Ahmed

Eugenie Bouchard recently shed light on her long-term future in tennis after missing out on a main draw spot at Wimbledon for the fourth year in a row.

Bouchard was once labeled as the next big thing in women's tennis after a promising junior career was swiftly followed by her breakthrough season at the senior level in 2014. Back then, she reached back-to-back semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open.

She took the tennis world by storm when she made the Wimbledon final that year, losing to a red-hot Petra Kvitova. She capitalized on her momentum by winning her one and only WTA title in Nurnberg, beating former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the final.

Bouchard's tennis career has since taken a sharp nosedive. A decade to the day she made her only Grand Slam final, the Canadian is ranked outside the Top 500 and has only played one tournament this season—an ITF W75 in Zephyrhills, Florida, United States, where she would retire in her quarterfinal match.

There has been speculation that she might consider hanging up her tennis racket for good, having sought a career in pickleball. Understandably, Bouchard, who missed a significant part of the 2021 season because of a shoulder injury, is dedicating her time to the booming paddle sport, which is regarded as less strenuous than tennis.

In an interview with YouTuber Valeria Lipovetsky, the 30-year-old was asked whether her tennis ambitions have changed now that she's become a pickleball pro.

"That's a very good question. I would say that changed this year because I have to invest some of my time playing the pickleball events as well. So training in the gym for both, I would say, is similar but obviously on the court it's different."

"So if I'm starting to give some time to pickle, it's taking time away from tennis. I would say this is an exploratory year to see how I love either one, how I love both, how I'm able to manage doing both."

"I don't know. I think it's more of an experimental year and we'll see how it goes. This is brand-new for me so I don't know for sure yet is my answer. I totally shifted this year and it's only been three months, four months. I have no idea yet, I'm testing it out, we'll see."

During her time away from the tennis courts because of injury, Bouchard showcased her tennis knowledge by working as an analyst for Tennis Channel. Even if she is forced to retire from professional tennis, she will likely be involved in the tennis landscape in some capacity.

"[The injury] made me do more off-court stuff. I went to do some commentating for the Tennis Channel, found out I really loved that, and was told I was good at it so that’s something I would love to continue exploring. That’s something I can do after tennis."


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