I was really looking forward to seeing Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard at the Miami Open. Currently ranked #7 on the WTA tour, she's experienced an amazing past couple of years, reaching the semi finals in two grand slams and the finals at Wimbledon last summer. The tennis world has high hopes for her. But, since losing Wimbledon, she's been on a downward spiral. Apparently, that's somewhat common for a young tennis player (Genie just turned 21) who suddenly is thrust into the limelight where expectations for success are heightened -- and the tennis world is watching their every move. The top players adapt.
Yesterday, I mentioned that if a player is going to have a meltdown it will happen in Miami. Right from the start of the match, Genie was off her game…and on an emotional roller coaster. While there were occasional glimpses of her incredible athleticism, those were quickly replaced with fits of despair (and even what appeared to be tears) until, at last, she completely lost it and smashed her racquet. Not once…but three times. What was especially unfortunate was that she was still in the match.
It seems Genie is in a mental fight with herself. In this photo, she's taking the walk of shame, carrying her mangled racquet off the court after losing in straight sets to an opponent ranked around #100. I sure hope she's able to pull it together, turn it around, and start winning again.