The ASB Classic at Auckland was a lucky tournament for Eugenie Bouchard last year in 2019 where she made it through to the quarterfinals in great fashion. She would seal her victories there with a doubles title teaming up with Sofia Kenin.
This year it was a delight for the ASB tournament director Karl Budge to award Bouchard a wild card with him saying that "We loved that she was here this year and I think that she enjoyed it after the performances. We are thrilled that genius is coming back to Auckland."
She's making them see her worth as she's again headed to the quarterfinals. The first round she faced Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens and showed her aggression winning in straight sets 7-5, 7-5. She might have tried not to act over confident since many occasions she'd bow at the opening rounds.
But it was her next opponent, France's Caroline Garcia ranked no. 8 that she felt encouraged that maybe her game was coming back. "I just stayed with her. My service was pretty good. I waited for my chances," Bouchard said with a wide smile.
The Frenchwoman hasn't had a great 2019 season and looke to start this year off proving she can face adversity. But it was Bouchard's style and tactics that permitted her to capture the victory. She kept her demeanor calm and controlled as her pink dress blew in the warm winds of New Zealand.
She would occasionally adjust her pink sun visor and take her time with serves and placement. Garcia appeared shaken by the aggressive Bouchard and punctuated too many of her games with unforced errors, one of the main causes she suffered a loss.
It was on the Canadian's twitter feed that she simply said "Let's go" and she indeed kept to her plan and played a consistently controlled game that resulted in victory of 6-4, 6-4. Bouchard has said tha she had no expectations coming into the season but emphasized that "I have expectations on myself, my actions and what I try to do on the court."
The fifference in Bouchard this year is that she waited for her chances and took the opportunity to put her shots away. Eugenie Bouchard, much known for her antics off court with dating a fan over a Superbowl bet has often had a string of misfortunes since 2015 slipping on a wet floor at a U.S.
Open locker room, suffering a concussion. It was an extended period of time that she came out on top of a lawsuit with a settlement. But it was her rankings that hit rock bottom as she'd seen betwen the 200-300 rankings and then the climb up was a vicious struggle.
Last year she lost 14 of 16 matches on tour. Yet the Canadian may be coming full circle now and is feeling good about herself in Auckland making her way deep into the quarterfinals with Amanda Anisimova of this warm up tournament.
She'll be in preparation for the largest Grand Slam at the beginning of the season -- The Australian Open and things are looking positive for the Canadian whose luck may be turning around. Bouchard's self confidence is soaring as she looked out into the crowd after her win over Caroline Garcia and said with the biggest smile "Thank you for the support...I feel it!"