2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard received only a qualifying wildcard for a WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal, which left some fans feeling surprised. Although Bouchard hasn't had much success in recent years, there is still attention on the former world No 5 and she is still one of the most popular Canadian players.
In Montreal - where Bouchard was born - there was always interest in the 29-year-old's matches. At the National Bank Open - which changes between Montreal and Toronto every year - Bouchard has made a total of nine main draw appearances.
Between 2008 and 2010, Bouchard made three consecutive appearances in the qualifying of the National Bank Open - two times in Montreal and once in Toronto. Since then, Bouchard featured only in the main draw of the Canadian tournament that is taking place in Montreal and Toronto.
Bouchard receives a Montreal qualifying wildcard
For this year's Montreal edition, the tournament organizers distributed main draw wildcards to Canada's Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Fernandez and Rebecca Marino, as well as to USA's Venus Williams and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.
For Bouchard, the Montreal organizers saved a qualifying wildcard and the 29-year-old will have to win two matches in order to reach the main draw. Bouchard, now ranked at No 212 in the world, said earlier this year she was still keeping hope she could return to the top.
"We see a lot of big hitters that are winning all the tournaments. We have Elena Rybakina and (Aryna) Sabalenka just like in the finals of almost every tournament. It's interesting to see that the game style is kind of still the one that's dominating at the ultimate end, and for me I like that because I have an aggressive game style and that's more how I want to play and it's motivating to see that.
I think it's open. There is depth, but it's open too. You know, there's a bit of both kind of anything that can happen, but there are some really solid players, so it is interesting," Bouchard said in April. It remains to be seen how well can Bouchard do in Montreal, in early August.