DUBAI, UAE – Eugenie Bouchard has explained how her tennis is maturing ahead of a second-round clash with WTA World No.2 Simona Halep at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Bouchard is in the midst of bouncing back after dipping outside of the Top 100 in 2018 and the one-time Wimbledon finalist now finds herself as the WTA World No.79.
READ MORE: Bouchard beats Lapko to set up Halep clash
Next up is No.3 seed Halep, who she beat en route to her Wimbledon final appearance in 2014 but has since lost to twice.
The latest of these meetings came at the 2018 French Open, in which the Canadian went down, 6-2, 6-2 to the eventual champion. It is not, however, an experience that she will draw upon before their hard-court meeting.
“That wasn’t a good match for me, so I don’t want to compare myself in different time periods,” she said. “It’s just about going out there and trying to give myself the best chance. I don’t want to have any regrets. That’s my number one goal.”
Instead, Bouchard is focusing on the watchwords of consistency and aggression, and believes the key to unlocking her best tennis is to find a balance between the two.
“I’m trying not to be a perfectionist anymore,” she admitted. “I know I play my best when I go for it, but picking the right ball is important.”
Although she is not about to abandon her signature attacking game, she now tries to be more circumspect depending on her opponent.
“I think my awareness is greater now as I get older,” she said. “I’m at least realizing whether I’m a bit less aggressive or more aggressive. Whether it’s what I want to do or not, at least be aware of it.
“Finding that balance is one of the most crucial things.”
After dispatching Vera Lapko, 6-3, 6-4, Bouchard knows that she will have to step up a level against Halep, a player whose counterpunching she has the utmost respect for.
“I watched the French Open final from last year and was inspired by that,” she said. “She can get to every ball and also do something with it. Sometimes when she’s pulled wider, she almost hits better shots. You have to understand you’re playing an aggressive wall and you have to go out there and try to find some cracks and just go for it.”
Bouchard is aiming for a second career win against the Romanian, who she has faced four times previously.