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An Interview With: Eugenie Bouchard

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q. This is an opponent you know well, and against whom you've had success. How much did that help you coming into today's match?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It did help me a little bit knowing I had a good record against her. At the same time, you know, all of our matches from the past don't mean anything 'cause it was a new match today. It was a new tournament. I know she's a tough fighter out there, so I had to kind of work for everything. I knew that going in. It was definitely a tough battle. It was pretty long for two sets.

Q. At this point, what does any one victory mean to you?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: So much. (Smiling.) It's great to get one win. I'm just focused on one day at a time, one point, one match. You know, not looking ahead at all. Not getting ahead of myself. So, you know, every match means something to me. Yeah, I'm proud of myself for today. I just got to, you know, try to perform well in my next match.

Q. Did you think the Vinci loss was sort of exaggerated? She's kind of eccentric or different type of player, and she played well. That match, even on the outside looked like it was a pretty bad loss.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I mean, I've tried to erase that match from my memory. I don't even want to think about it.

Q. What have you learned in these last few months? It's been a continual rise up the rankings for you; this is the first rough patch for you. What has this taught you as a player and a person?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It has taught me that the journey towards success is not always easy or upwards, like it was for me last year. It happened for me last year and that was great, but I still have to go through the grind like every single player does. You know, just because I had success before doesn't mean I can just skip this whole process of all the steps. So, yeah, I just have to grind this year.

Q. Did you feel any different stepping on court today compared to the weeks previous?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I definitely felt different than last week. Just more inspired, more confident, more motivated. You know, just kind of trying to regain the confidence and the belief in myself. I've been working on that. Obviously being at the US Open helps. The crowd, you know, just this whole atmosphere, it's what I thrive on. It's what I do well on. So that definitely helped me out today, too.

Q. You were saying you were more motivated and more confident. Why?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think my loss last week was kind of a shock to me, a little bit of a wake-up call in a sense I had to get my act together a little bit. And then working this week with Jimmy, as well, has really given me a different side of things, like a different point of view. He's very energetic. He's kind of lifted my spirits a little bit. He believes in me. He helped me kind of believe in myself more and regain that confidence. So, yeah, I think that's helped me as well.

Q. A year ago you were the darling of the tennis world.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: So I'm not anymore? (Smiling.)

Q. Quite apart from what has happened on the court, do you feel a little bit roughed up or beaten up by some of the coverage you've received. A lot of people turned on you; I think it would be fair to say that.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, everyone kind of jumped on the bandwagon last year and were super quick to be at my throat this year. You know, it's a bit hard in a way. I try to block it out as much as possible. I've learned the media, they always want to write a story. They always need a headline. I try not to take it personally. You know, I don't think I deserved all the stuff I got. You know, at the same time it's their job, it's your jobs, and I respect that. What I think about myself, to myself at night when I go to sleep, I just have to remember that.

Q. What is that?

 EUGENIE BOUCHARD: That I'm a wonderful person. (Smiling.) That I'm a good tennis player. I have the skill. I have everything I need. Just no matter what keep working, keep my head up, keep my spirits up, keep that belief no matter what people say. It can be hard at times when you hear so many negative things. If I think that about myself, my inner team truly believes in me as well. That helps. That is what is helping me get through.

Q. How did you first reach out to Jimmy and how much will you talk with him this week and stay in touch?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I've known Jimmy for a couple of years actually. He's been a friend. He was here this week. We just decided to work together for a couple days, even though we knew he was leaving. He left last night. It was just great to get on the court with him the first time, even though I've known him for a few years. Just to hear stories about him winning back at Forest Hills, the way the tour was back then, it's funny and inspiring. But we're still in touch right now. I mean, I called him before my match. I'll call him after I do press and see what he has to say.

Q. Do you get any sense of a difference of what it feels like in your mind, how your body feels? Is your mind calmer? Do you feel the difference between the two? Do you sense it?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: After a win, I mean, I kind of get that positive affirmation that, you know, the work I've done, how I know I can play is good, that I'm on the right path type of thing. When you have a loss sometimes you question everything you're doing, your team, your inner belief. Even though maybe you shouldn't 'cause you could still play great, still be on the right path even if you lose. A win definitely helps in the confidence department, even though I feel like I'm working as hard as I can, despite the losses I've had this summer.

Q. I meant like while it's actually happening.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Like on the court?

Q. Yes. Your brain waves, do you feel the difference between which direction the match is headed?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah. But it's actually something I don't want to be kind of too aware about, because if I think too much about the score or the outcome, I know that's bad for me. I don't want to focus on that. I want to keep my energy up and my spirits and my attitude the same whether I'm winning or losing. That's something I'm trying to work on. I definitely feel more energy and more confident when it's going well. But that's what champions do well. When it's not going well, they keep that up and they keep fighting, no matter what. So that's a goal of mine.

Q. Jimmy Connors, is he planning to come back here?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: He is, but only next Sunday. So I have to do well to see him again. (Smiling.)

Q. Have you been briefed on this ESPN mid-match interview thing at all?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yes. I just got briefed right before walking in here.

Q. Have you been briefed by ESPN, I guess?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: No. I just heard about it right before coming in here. I had no idea.

Q. Last year the US Open was your weakest Grand Slam. After what happened against Vinci, do you think it can be a breakthrough Grand Slam? The US Open possibly can be the strongest Grand Slam this year?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I can't predict the future, but I felt good today. I'm just going to take it one match at a time. I'm happy with a victory from today. I just want to keep going. I'm not going to look ahead. No matter what, I want to have a successful US Open no matter how many matches I win or lose. I know I can make it successful if I do the right things. That's really my goal.

Q. How amenable would you be to being interviewed after the first or second set of a match?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I'm not sure. I haven't had time to think about it. I heard about it 15 minutes ago. I'd have to think. Maybe only if I win the first set or something. Honestly I'm not sure right now. I'd have to think about that. I think it's kind of cool in a way. If it gives fans more access, if it makes the match more interesting, why not? If the players are used to it, I don't see anything wrong with it.