Eugenie Bouchard is not at Wimbledon this year, but her historic run to the final in 2014 will live long in the memory.
That year, a then 20-year-old Bouchard rose through the ranks to become tennis’ most marketable star.
Having reached the semi-final of both the Australian Open and at Roland-Garros, Bouchard hit new heights at the All England Club.
The Canadian won her first five matches in straight sets and secured convincing wins over former world number one Angelique Kerber and an in-form Alize Cornet, who had beaten Serena Williams earlier in the competition.
In the semi-finals, Bouchard defeated Simona Halep, again in straight sets –– becoming the first Canadian-born player to ever reach a Grand Slam singles final.
While Petra Kvitova ultimately prevented Bouchard from claiming her first major title, the Canadian was still catapulted to stardom.
Endorsement deals came swarming in and by the end of the year, she was ranked fifth in the world.
There seemed no doubt that Bouchard was a Grand Slam champion in waiting, yet her performances at major tournaments have been underwhelming since then.
What happened after 2014?
In 2015, SportsPro named the Canadian the most marketable athlete in the world, ahead of the likes of Neymar, Steph Curry and Usain Bolt.
But by the end of the year, Bouchard had slipped from inside the world’s top 10 to 48th in the rankings.
Two years later, she had returned to the ITF circuit in an attempt to rediscover some form, yet this only further compounded her struggles.
Since 2016, Bouchard has failed to reach beyond the third round of any Grand Slam and has not won a senior title on the WTA tour for eight years.
In 2021, the 28-year-old appeared to be on the rise again after reaching the final of the Abierto Zapopan tournament in Mexico.
However, she is currently unranked and will have to rely on wildcard entries and qualifying to play in the WTA’s top events.
Too painful to watch
Bouchard also revealed that she finds watching footage of the 2014 Wimbledon final far too painful to watch and has not been able to sit through the whole match yet.
Speaking to fellow Canadian Kaitlyn Bristowe, she said: “To this day, I still have not been able to re-watch that match. Because often we try to watch tapes of ourselves, and films, to learn good matches and bad matches and that one was so scarring, I have not been able to watch.”
Why isn’t Bouchard playing Wimbledon this year?
Part of the reason for Bouchard’s drop in ranking was because of a shoulder injury that required surgery. The Canadian therefore has a number of protected ranking entries to tournaments.
But the WTA removed all ranking points from Wimbledon this year, meaning the Canadian would not climb up the ladder at all, even if she performed well.
As a result, Bouchard did not want to waste a protected ranking entry and is focusing on the US Open later this year and next season’s Australian Open instead.
“I have decided to withdraw from Wimbledon due to the WTA’s decision to not award ranking points at this year’s Championship,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of protected ranking (PR) entries. As much as I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR entry at a tournament with no ranking points doesn’t make sense.”