Eugenie Bouchard will compete in this year’s WTA Croatia Bol Open, tournament director Feliks Lukas announced in local newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija on May 19. He confirmed the news at a press conference at the Hotel Park in Split on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Canadian is currently ranked no. 167 in the world. She hopes to return to form after falling out of the world’s top 100 in January 2018. This is the first time she left the top 100 since breaking through in April 2013.
Despite her lower ranking Bouchard received several wild cards into bigger tournaments this year, including Indian Wells, Miami, and Charleston. After lackluster results in these tournaments, she expressed interest in playing smaller tournaments, like the Bol Open, to regain confidence.
After losing in the first round in Charleston, Bouchard shared her frustration. “It's tough training for two weeks, playing a match, losing and training for two weeks, playing a match, losing and it's a tough cycle to be in because you feel more nervous and [feel] extra pressure for that match, especially [when] you're on centre court and it's a big tournament, or maybe you got a wild card...So I want to play some smaller tournaments and just get matches...and just grind, you know, just to get the rhythm back.”
Bouchard reached a career high ranking of world no. 5 in 2014. She reached the Australian Open and the French Open semifinals, the Wimbledon final, and qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore. It was a year of firsts, records, and awards. Bouchard became the first Canadian, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam final and break into the top 5 of the world rankings. She also received the 2014 WTA Most Improved Player Award.
Since her breakout year, Bouchard experienced mixed results. At the start of 2015 she struggled to win more than two consecutive matches. She seemed to return to form at the 2015 U.S. Open; however, she withdrew from the tournament before her fourth round match due to a concussion she sustained from slipping in the locker room. She missed almost all of the WTA’s 2015 Asian swing, and struggled to regain top form since.
Despite her fall in the rankings, Bouchard remains one of the sport’s most visible and marketable players. In addition to $5.8 million in career prize money, she makes millions from various endorsements. She has over 1.7 million followers on Instagram and regularly appears in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue alongside tennis’ top stars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.
Tickets to watch Eugenie Bouchard in action can be purchased through ticketshop.hr. The 2018 WTA Croatia Bol Open takes place from Tuesday, June 5 through Sunday, June 10. The complete player roster was officially announced on Wednesday, May 23.