Tennis - 19 year old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard is considered to be by many the next big thing in tennis. The teenager is already making people sit up and take notice of her big game and smashing looks. And it should come as no surprise that she enjoyed watching Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova when she was growing up.
Speaking to Sportsnet.ca, Tennis Canada's Female Tennis Player of the Year says, "I just looked up to the greatest players in the world. I loved Anna Kournikova, but also Maria Sharapova. I remember watching her win Wimbledon when I was 10 years old.
I thought she was so cool; I wanted to do what she was doing. I set my sights high and I think that’s what you have to do to be the best." Talking about her own status as a role model, "I still don’t realize it.
I don’t know if I am that person or not, or to what degree. I know I want to be that person one day, and if little girls want to play tennis [because of me] then that’s an honour. I think that’s the coolest thing ever." Talking about the importance of confidence for a tennis player and herself, "It is self-confidence, I guess, but I don’t really think about it.
People say, “You’re so driven and focused.” I guess it comes naturally for me. It’s always been my dream to be a professional, so I’m not surprised to be here. I know it’s what I’m meant to do and to me it’s my job.
I go out on the court and it doesn’t matter who’s on the other side—you respect everyone but you don’t put them on a pedestal.It’s something that comes with experience. And I’ll still hopefully be even better next year.
And this year being my first year on the tour, getting to experience things like walking out to centre court at the French Open to face Maria Sharapova or centre court at Wimbledon to play Ana Ivanovic, those are moments I’ll look back on my whole life, and they help me gain that experience.
Next time I can think, ‘I’ve been here, done that.’ Of course it will always be nervous and exciting, but that experience just helps me handle it better. I think tennis is 90 percent mental. That’s what I say."