Bouchard: ‘Some days I feel like I’m better at dealing with it’

FROM THE ROGERS CUP, TORONTO — Genie Bouchard is up and down this year. When she is into it, she can move from corner to corner and be effective. But, when she is mentally out of it, she can spray the ball. Hopefully, in the next five weeks, she will play great on the court and she will start belting the ball.

In the court, that is.

Three years ago, Bouchard was coming fast. She went deep at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. She didn’t win, but she was right there. She was young and fresh. She was ranked No. 5. But at the end of that year, she began to slip. She fell, way down. She has yet to comeback. Somedays, she looks pretty good. Other days, she collapses.

Let’s look at the good news: If Bouchard becomes more consistent and confident, then she can return to the top 10. But she has a long way to go. She is currently ranked No. 70, which is not great, but at least she has put together two good tournaments: she reached the semis at Sydney, upending Dominica Cibulkova, and she reached the quarters in Madrid, surprising Maria Sharapova.

Those were two good wins, but other than that, she can get extremely nervous.

“Well, look, Serena still says she feels nervous before matches. So I don’t think it’s ever something that any athlete completely masters. I think it’s more about how well you deal with it,” Bouchard said. “And it’s just an ongoing battle, really. Some days I feel like I’m better at dealing with it than others. I’ve learned more and been able to maybe detach it a little bit and really make it. ‘Okay, this is my job and it’s not, so personal.’ But it’s an ongoing process. It’s something I’ll always have to deal with for the rest of my career.”

Sloane Stephens took out Yulia Putintseva in three sets. Stephens is just coming back. Slowly, slowly. … Petra Kvitova didn’t play very well in California, but she looked aggressive and consistent on Monday in Canada. I would think that very soon, she will come back into the Top 10. … Domi Cibulkova has had a very tough year. She is straining. … Barbora Strycova wiped out Kristina Mladenovic. The Frenchwoman looked spry in May and June, but now she is backing off. … What a great win by the 31-year-old Varvara Lepchenko, who upset the RG champ Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 in the third. Lepchenko has been playing at the WTA for 16 years, which is a very long time. But without a doubt, she plays as much as she can and if she locks in, she could push herself extremely deep at the end of the summer.

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