Over the holidays, Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard was named the winner of the Bobbi Rosenfeld Award as the country’s top female athlete. At the time, I must admit that I had never heard of her before. I probably wasn’t alone in that regard. To begin with, tennis is not exactly a high profile sport in Canada. As well, the 19-year-old Montrealer had literally risen from the depths of the international tennis rankings to reach #31 with a string of impressive performances in WTA tournaments.
As a junior player, Bouchard enjoyed a fair bit of success, including a singles win at Wimbledon in 2012 (pictured). And her star has continued to rise at the adult level.
Competing in the Australian Open on Monday, Bouchard upset former #1 ranked Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in a quarter-final match. With the victory, Bouchard became only the second Canadian to advance to a Grand Slam semi-final (Carling Bassett is the other, in 1984 she reached the U.S. Open semi-final).
Next up for Bouchard is a match against two-time Australian Open finalist La Ni of China. Considering that this is Bouchard’s first Australian Open she’s likely exceeded expectations. And Li will undoubtedly be a tough test. But with her strong performance so far in the tournament Bouchard has definitely become a big story in the world of tennis.