“This is an exploratory year to see how I love either one,” Bouchard embraces pickleball, tennis future in limbo

Friday, 05 July 2024 at 01:30
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Eugenie Bouchard spoke about her future in tennis after missing Wimbledon. In 2023, the Canadian returned to the All England Club for the first time since 2019 but couldn't get past the first round of the qualifiers. This year, she didn't even enter the qualifiers and is currently ranked world No. 524.
The 30-year-old tennis player only played one professional event this year, an ITF tournament in the USA in May, where she reached the quarterfinals after winning two consecutive matches. However, she withdrew while facing Kayla Day and hasn't appeared in any professional tournaments since.

From tennis courts to pickleball

The former Wimbledon runner-up suffered a shoulder injury in 2021 that kept her away from the sport for 17 months. Since then, she has shown increased interest in the rapid growth of pickleball and joined the Professional Pickleball Association Tour in September 2023.
In a YouTube interview with Valeria Lipovetsky, she responded about her tennis aspirations: "That’s a very good question. I would say that changed this year because I have to invest some of my time playing the pickleball events as well,” Bouchard said. “So training in the gym for both, I would say, is similar but obviously on the court it’s different.
"So if I’m starting to give some time to pickle, it’s taking time away from tennis. I would say this is an exploratory year to see how I love either one, how I love both, how I’m able to manage doing both.”
“I don’t know. I think it’s more of an experimental year and we’ll see how it goes,” she added. “This is brand-new for me so I don’t know for sure yet is my answer. I totally shifted this year and it’s only been three months, four months. I have no idea yet, I’m testing it out, we’ll see.”
“[The injury] made me do more off-court stuff,” Bouchard said. “I went to do some commentating for the Tennis Channel, found out I really loved that and was told I was good at it so that’s something I would love to continue exploring. That’s something I can do after tennis.”

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