Eugenie Bouchard: The Real Thing
Published June 24, 2014 12:14
Hantuchova has had a lot of success on grass before, reaching the quarterfinals here in 2002 and winning Birmingham last year, and it showed - she was pushing the No.13-seeded Bouchard hard.
But every time Hantuchova came close to closing out a set Bouchard would tighten the screws, coming from 5-3 down to take the first set and toughing out a 57-minute second set to seal the deal.
At the end of the day Bouchard's numbers were just too clean, too - she had a +11 winners-to-unforced errors differential (26 to 15) while Hantuchova just managed to break even for the match (22 to 22).
"I expected a tough match, and it was a tough one," Bouchard said. "I definitely feel like I didn't play my best most of the match, but I competed well when it counted, and I raised my level at some big points, like at 5-all in both sets. I think I played better in those moments, and I'm proud of that.
"The first match of a tournament, especially a Grand Slam, is always a bit nervy."
Bouchard's win over Hantuchova was her 11th Grand Slam match win this year - she collected her first five en route to the Australian Open semifinals and another five en route to the French Open semis.
There was also some big news for Bouchard on Monday - a three-year sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola Canada. Led by two of Coca-Cola's most recognizable brands, Coke and Diet Coke, the company will leverage Bouchard's growing profile as one of the world's most promising young athletes, and Bouchard will add her name to an impressive list of athletes representing the brand globally.
"Genie brings something extra special to the table. She is not only an incredibly talented tennis player but her down to earth style makes it so easy for people to relate to her," Michael Samoszewski of Coca-Cola said of the ultra-talented Canadian. "Her demeanor both on and off the court embodies happiness and active, healthy living; and because of this, she is truly is an inspiration to Canadians and a perfect fit for our company. We are proud to partner with this rising young star on her journey."
"I am excited to partner with one of the world's most iconic brands," Bouchard said of the news. "Coca-Cola works with some very talented and high-caliber personalities and athletes.
"It's great to have their support and to be joining the Coca-Cola family."