Genie: Last year’s Canadian darling returns to Aussie Open

The draw has been set; Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic will vie for Canada's first-ever Grand Slam singles title in tennis

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard rose to fame

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard rose to fame

It’s been a full year since Eugenie Bouchard stormed into the Australian Open semifinals, rising to prominence, global fame, and up the women’s ranking.s

12 months later – after three more majors, including a narrow runner’s up finish in Wimbledon – Bouchard is back in Melbourne, now seeded seventh in a wide-open field. (American Serena Williams is first, Maria Sharapova second, and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova fourth. Last year’s champion, Li Na, retired from the sport.)

The bracket for the 2015 Aussie Open was unveiled on Friday, with Na and 2014 men’s champion Stan Wawrinka down under to draw for the year’s first major, which starts January 19 at Melbourne Park.

Read: Men’s and Women’s Rankings – 2015 Australian Open

Bouchard has yet to win a major in her still-very young career. She kicks off her Aussie Open against unseeded German Anna-Lena Friedsam.

The 20-year-old Montrealer was in Melbourne on Friday, practicing for the tournament’s start. (The first round for Men’s and Women’s run on Monday and Tuesday.)

Toronto’s Milos Raonic, who last year fell in the Australian Open’s third round, comes in ranked eighth for Melbourne.

Raonic will face a qualifier in the first round, and then most likely Donald Young in the second round.

Both Bouchard and Raonic were named female and male athletes of the year by The Canadian Press for 2014, and both turned Canada into a tennis nation last summer, when they each made their final fours at Wimbledon.

Neither won but, hey, that’s what Melbourne’s for.

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