Genie Bouchard can win her first Grand Slam on Saturday

Cheers for Bouchard after Wimbledon run

Cheers for rising star Eugenie Bouchard despite tough loss in finals

By Benjamin Shingler, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL – Tennis fans in the city where it all began for Eugenie Bouchard weren’t discouraged by her tough loss in Saturday’s Wimbledon final.

A dozen children armed with their own rackets were among those who gathered to watch the match on big screens at Montreal’s Uniprix Stadium, where the 20-year-old rising star honed her skills.

There weren’t as many reasons to cheer as Tennis Canada organizers had hoped. Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic handily beat Bouchard 6-3, 6-0.

But her supporters maintain it won’t be long before she gets another shot at a Grand Slam title.

“I think the emotion got to Eugenie,” said Helene Guedehoussou, a 31-year-old fan who has followed Bouchard’s rise over the past few years.

“In the next final she’ll be able to manage her emotions better, but I’m still really proud of her.”

Bouchard’s Wimbledon performance was still one for the record books. She became the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam singles final in the Open era.

It has been a breakthrough year for the native of Westmount, Que., a Montreal suburb. She has reached the semifinals at every Grand Slam event this season and moved up to 7th in the world after reaching the Wimbledon final.

Alexia Dorais, 11, said following Bouchard’s success makes her excited to play more herself.

“I really want to continue,” said Dorais, who already hits the court several times a week.

“I know she started at a young age too, and I think to myself that maybe one day I can be like that too.”

Dorais isn’t the only young Canadian taking to the sport.

In Bouchard’s hometown of Westmount, registration is up this year, particularly among young girls.

The city’s mayor, Peter Trent, said residents are “absolutely thrilled.”

“All Westmount eyes are fixed upon her,” Kent said. “She’s going to wonderful things, and at such an early age, to have already achieved so much.”

Across the country, Tennis Canada has noted a growth of three to five per cent a year over the past few years.

Valerie Tetreault, a former pro who now works for Tennis Canada, said the success of Bouchard and Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont. on the men’s side is changing the perception of Canadian tennis.

“I think it’s going to motivate kids to take rackets in their hands and play tennis. And that’s how we’re going to develop even more champions in the coming years,” she said.

Tetreault said she isn’t surprised by Bouchard’s success — though it happened faster than she expected.

When she saw her a decade ago, at a tennis complex in the Montreal suburb of Nun’s Island, Tetreault already knew Bouchard was special.

“I was training there at that time so I saw her when she was nine or ten years old and she was already someone you would look at, because she had a lot of talent, and was already very focused on the court,” she said.

Bouchard is set to return to Montreal and her former training grounds at Uniprix Stadium next month for the Rogers Cup, which runs from Aug. 1-10.

Just Posted

War bride’s oversea voyage to Canada took a leap of faith

More than 45,000 women immigrated to Canada after the Second World War

One woman’s scrapbook uncovered at Fort Rodd Hill tells story of thousands during Second World War

Joyce Margaret Whitney served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps from 1942 to 1946

Thousands line the streets around the Legislature for Remembrance Day ceremony in Victoria

Over 70 wreaths placed around Cenotaph, honouring those who lost their lives, currently fighting

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

VIDEO: Pups in the pool: West Shore rec centre’s Dog Swim a success

West Shore Parks and Recreation goes to the dogs Sunday night

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Mexican culinary celebration fills Victoria Public Market

Taco, Tequila and Margarita Fiesta takes over the Victoria Public Market the evening of Nov. 16

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Most Read