Eugenie Bouchard has been experiencing an endless identity crisis for two years now. As it has been said many times since 2014, year in which the Canadian played two Slam semifinals (Australian Open and French Open) and the Wimbledon final, the light has been turned off.
The black-out began, the performances of the beautiful Montreal's twenty-two years have fallen into a never-ending spiral of defeats and very poorly managed matches. Over the last two years, Genie has been known more for her life outside the courts than for the results.
Media and fans have often wondered if 2014 was just a lucky year for her. Grit, determination, audacity, will to win. All those skills that have allowed her to reach the top 10 are suddenly missed. Now Bouchard stands at the 60 position of WTA Rankings.
Yet, after all of this, perhaps there is still a light at the end of the tunnel. The Mutua Madrid Open may have marked a new watershed in the Canadian's career. Despite the defeat in two sets against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Genie played a good tournament.
Above all she eliminated Maria Sharapova, after a crazy performance, recalling those of the good times. The affair between the two tennis players, such as on Twitter, posts, prescriptive autobiographies, and declarations, does not really matter much, but it may be a sign of a new refound bluster on the part of the Canadian.
In the match against the Siberian, Bouchard showed boldness, desire to win, daring, but above all a super-backhand, good tactical choices and a new fighting spirit. Will such a match be enough to bring her back from the ashes in which she has fallen into? No, of course.
Genie will have to confirm all good things we have seen in Madrid, making it as a new starting point. If she now returns to show the grin she showed in the match against Sharapova, then she has already solved some of her problems.
The forehand is not her winning weapon, but it certainly has been more effective during Madrid than during the rest of the first part of season. The backhand was good, at least until the quarter finals. With a good technical-tactical choices, Bouchard would have all the cards in order to return to an acceptable level, and work again on what counts in tennis: win tournaments.
Clay could help her. In her career, the Canadian has proven to be able to play well on all surfaces (despite she won only one title in six finals played), and till French Open she will have the opportunity to show how much clay is a favorable surface for her.