Tennis Prose



Bouchard’s ranking falls outside of top 100


By Scoop Malinowski

The glamour girl of tennis is becoming irrelevant thanks to her fading results.

Eugenie Bouchard, who lost all three of her singles matches at Hopman Cup last week, extended her losing streak to nine after a 6-4, 6-3 loss to 19-year-old Aryna Sabalenka at the Hobart International on Monday.

As her tennis career nosedives, the 22-year-old is not overly concerned. “It is what it is,” Bouchard said. “My ranking will obviously drop a little bit after this week and I have points to defend next week, but it’s not something I think about too much in terms of defending. For me, I just try to see it as I start the year at zero and try to do as well as I can. This thing of defending points I’ve never really understood.”

Bouchard has been firmly established in the WTA top 100 since April 2013 but she has not won a match since the first round of New Haven last August. She will need to accumulate ranking points in Melbourne and following events in order to assure main draw entry into Indian Wells and Miami Open.

Bouchard has not won since the first round of the New Haven Open last August and her streak of losses is now at nine, including her three defeats at last week’s Hopman Cup.

Bouchard made the third round at last year’s Australian Open, so she will need to reach the fourth round or beyond to redirect her ranking back into an upward flow. Her projected ranking next week will be around 110.

With her new coach Harold Solomon, Bouchard has her work cut out to try to regain and rebuild her lost aura and ineffective, one-dimensional baseline game.

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  • Andrew Miller · January 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Hope things look up for Bouchard. I think she’s good for the game. I’m not of the opinion her game is one dimensional. I’m not sure what would work for her. Tell you what, I do blame a lot of the high profile coaches she’s worked with, they haven’t helped her build much confidence in her shots. It’s as if playing in Canada after her run to the Wimbledon finals cursed her.

    I’ll say it again, Bouchard at her fiercest best is good for the wta tour AND the game. I was worried the depth of her shots would haunt her as an experienced player could step right into it and turn them into short put away balls. And that her serve placement was too short as well.

    I’m sorry she ran into the powerhouse Coco at the beginning of last season at the Australian. She had been preparing for slams and lost to Coco in a great three setter. Outside of the Sharapova match, which was seemed to me overly overjoyed for winning, she was spent. All this despite so much training.

    I believe she still has the fire in her. It’s the champions pedigree. Sometimes a player has to watch old tapes and see what made them tackle matches before. Seles did this, Nadal at least used to. Federer is a big time tennis fan, and uses whatever is on tv for tennis to motivate himself.

  • Andrew Miller · January 8, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    “Hit harder” – overheard at the Macci academy.

  • scoopmalinowski · January 8, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Hiring Hollywood Spadea could help. Bouchard needs to add some new twists to her predictable game. Hitting harder isnt going to work. Rick maccis signature line is for the birds. Bouchard needs to watch an hour of Rios videos a day and read Marcelo Rios The Man We Barely Knew asap.

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Yeah I am not convinced she is done when you have been to Slam semifinals and finals. Lots of career left.

  • Andrew Miller · January 9, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Scoop, I make fun of Macci, to be fair this was from one his coaches and it wasn’t bad advice. In light of occ advice, actually pretty good in context.

    OCC really makes plain a lot of things. Maybe even makes it easier to fire coaches.

  • catherine · January 9, 2018 at 1:58 am

    The world is full of pretty girls who have some talent at something. Not always a blessing.

    Genie has nothing much to fall back on. And if that one match against Coco finished her for the year in 2017 then she needs to negotiate a fundamental change in her coaching, her physical training and her outlook on life.

    Now, if I were a player coming into a tournament and I saw Bouchard in my half of the draw, I’d treat that as a free pass into the next round.

    Constantly switching coaches is always a bad sign as we know. So I hope Genie can stick with Solomon for a decent time. Try to grow into the game while maturing as a person.

    On switching coaches note, Konta just went out in Sydney. Johanna’s had 3 coaches in three years.

  • catherine · January 9, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Donna Vekic has started the year winning in Hobart (nice tournament, I know it well) with her new coach Torben Beltz.

    I remember once thinking Vekic was the worst player I’d ever seen in a pro event.

  • scoopmalinowski · January 9, 2018 at 7:25 am

    I dont think ive ever seen Bouchard hit a change of pace ball, a drop shot, a moonball, slice forehand or backhand. Her game is as predictable as the weather in the desert. Bouchard should hire Santoro and Rios as her new coaches. This afternoon.

  • catherine · January 9, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Kerber hammers Venus Williams 6-0 in 3rd. Looks as if Venus’ energy levels aren’t consistantly high enough to be competitive now.

    But if I were Angie I wouldn’t want to go too far in Sydney. A good loss next round and she’ll be in better shape for Melbourne.

    Muguruza has yet to play. Hasn’t finished a tournament in a while. Not enough match play before a GS I’d have thought.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 9, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Like I tried to tell you Catherine, Kerber is on the way to her next major title.

  • catherine · January 9, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Yes, she may be, but I hope she doesn’t overdo things, now it’s going so well 🙂

    (I’m cautious by nature)

    Angie has been wearing her favourite strip, burgundy and black, for all her matches this year but next week she will have to climb into the new adidas gear which isn’t as nice so I hope that doesn’t impact her play as she cares about clothes and how she looks etc.

    Fisette speaks German, probably along with several other languages, which she says is better for her. I’m not surprised. Angie’s English continues to astound me.
    It’s puzzling. Girls who’ve been on the circuit a year or so manage better than her.
    However – it’s not her linguistic skills which are being tested 🙂

    (source material: interview with K on WTA site currently)

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 9, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Fear not Catherine, I have not yet heard of any tennis player ever blaming the colors of their outfit for a loss. But at some point we could see this happen 🙂

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 9, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Interesting story in L’Equipe on why Bartoli came back. Apparently some boyfriend of hers was a major jerk. He would tell her she was too fat and compare her to other women. Really a horrible story and she said her confidence got destroyed.

    No word on who this guy was but imagine dating a Wimbledon champion and treating her like that? You have to wonder if it was some celebrity.

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 9, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    How about two days in the life of Bellis. She wins a first-set breaker and then serves up a bagel to Rybarikova, then suffers that same fate to Radwanska in round two. Weird. Still a nice run in which she got through qualies

  • catherine · January 9, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Coming back to tennis because some guy treated you bad is probably the worst reason in the world.

  • catherine · January 10, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Andrew will be thrilled to see Gavrilova bt Stosur in Sydney.

    Giorgi bt Kvitova SS. Petra doesn’t seem the player she was, which is a shame but understandable. Though things may improve as the year goes on.

    Angie for the title 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Duke, This Bartoli tale could be fake news. Didn’t know she had any boyfriend. Unless she names names this sounds like fake news to attack men. And the fact of the matter is she was fat. I think she needs to out this alleged former boyfriend. Why won’t she? This alleged boyfriend deserves to be publicly shamed and be sent to sensitivity classes. Again, I think this could be another fake news victimization tale – to generate sympathy and publicity. Rule no. 1 – if you have any abusive boyfriend/girlfriend, why stay with them and take the abuse? You break up with this abuser asap.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Catherine, it’s not the real reason for Bartoli coming back. It’s what she wants the public to believe.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Catherine, please stop making fun of Andrew for being a Gavrilova fan 🙂

  • catherine · January 10, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Scoop- I’m sure Andrew can perceive the emerging talents of Daria Gavrilova and I have the greatest respect for his choice 🙂

    I think the Bartoli story is piffle too – full of holes. And how long ago was all this ? The woman’s in her thirties, not a teenager. And yes, she was overweight – I went back and looked.

    Marion’s had all kinds of ‘issues’ since she left the game and why she’s decided to come back now is a mystery to me, unless she’s hoping that being on the tour again will help solve some of her problems.

    A desperate quest, I’d say.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Or perhaps was she caught and silent banned for a few years? Because her departure was so sudden. Why fly all the way over to Cincy from Paris to suddenly decide to announce retirement? Why not take the rest of the year off to heal and rest? Plus, she also tweeted just days before retiring that she was looking forward to playing New Haven. Could all be a whole lotta fake news.

  • catherine · January 10, 2018 at 10:27 am

    A slightly erratic player is more likely. Some of Bartoli’s behaviour since she retired has been bizarre.

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 10, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Wow maybe Bartoli was secretly banned by the WTA Tour. That is a more likely explanation why she would leave tennis suddenly. Clearly she is taking some banned substance and was smart enough to leave unlike Sharapova. Nobody said Bartoli wasn’t smart.

  • Hartt · January 10, 2018 at 11:01 am

    This is unfair to label Bartoli as using a banned substance without any proof whatsoever. Yes, she did retire suddenly, but as Catherine said, Bartoli’s behaviour can be erratic, and that includes her return to tennis.

  • catherine · January 10, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Duke – Jana Novotna retired suddenly, so did Gabriela Sabatini – you’re not seriously suggesting they were both taking banned substances and the WTA covered up for them – are you?

  • Duke Carnoustie · January 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    It’s not so much my idea but if we all agree that the boyfriend story is fake news, there has to something else going on. And saying Bartoli is weird does not explain it.

    The French are known for doping scandals in cycling, etc. Who’s to say Bartoli wasn’t involved in that or something else that wouldn’t pass muster.

  • catherine · January 10, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Duke – you sound like Scoop 🙂

    I think Bartoli’s personality would explain her eccentricities. No vast conspiracy required there. And if she had no settled plan in her life, of what would happen after the tennis, as she doesn’t seem to have done, then maybe boredom and inability to settle to anything has resulted in some seemingly odd behaviour.

    It’s possible she’s a bit of a fantasist.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 10, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Hartt, not saying Bartoli did use PEDs but her sudden departure is suspect. Why fly all the way to Cincy to suddenly decide to retire? Why not take a month or two or three off then come back. To suddenly decide to retire after flying all the way to Cincy is odd. I mean, Murray did not just decide to retire with his injury issues.



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