Eugenie Bouchard has withdrawn from the upcoming Rio Open in Rio de Janeiro, citing the need for more practice. Bouchard, currently ranked fifty-eighth in the world, is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2015 season.
A Step Backward?
After a disastrous 2015 season, where she struggled first with form, then with injuries, Bouchard seemed to be on the right path to start 2016. She reached the quarterfinals of her first event of the season in Shenzhen, and followed it up with a brilliant run of form to reach the Hobart’s final, where her luck ran out against Alize Cornet. She was given a nightmare draw at the Australian Open, as she was defeated in straight sets by eventual semifinalist Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
The Canadian has also withdrawn from the Fed Cup, where Canada will be in deep against Belarus. Bouchard released a statement today saying that she withdrew from Rio "in order to have more time to practice and to keep preparing for the rest of the season." She has not played a competitive match since her loss to Radwanska two weeks ago.
Bouchard struggled after her breakout year in 2014. The good news for the Canadian is that she has almost no points to defend all year. Her collapse well and truly started at the Fed Cup last year, and she did not win a match until Rome in late May. She kicked up a stir at the Fed Cup Playoffs last year when she refused to shake Alexandra Dulgheru’s hand before their match. The incident brought a lot of negative attention to Bouchard.
The Canadian suffered a concussion at the US Open last year which ended her season. However, she has shown no ill effects so far in 2016. She will return to action at the end of February in Kuala Lumpur.