PARIS (AP) — The losses keep mounting for Eugenie Bouchard, who was so good last year and is having so much trouble nowadays.
Exiting in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her nascent career, No. 6 Bouchard became the highest-seeded player bounced from the French Open, losing 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday to 44th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic of France.
Bouchard has lost eight of her past nine matches.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to say. It’s been kind of the same as how I have been feeling recently on the court. Just not like myself,” the 21-year-old Canadian said. “I just feel like it’s been a while that this has been happening, and, you know, it’s unfortunate. But, you know, I’m sure one day it will stop.”
Last season, Bouchard appeared to be establishing herself as one of tennis’ next big stars, reaching three consecutive Grand Slam semifinals, including at the French Open. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon.
“On paper, that’s true, she’s had fewer wins, but last year, her season was exceptional. So it is tough for her to have the same results,” Mladenovic said. “People are expecting a lot. And it’s true, people say that she’s lost some of her confidence.”
For a stretch of the second set Tuesday, Bouchard appeared ready to get herself back into the match.
She trailed 5-0 in that set, bouncing her racket twice off the clay at Court Suzanne Lenglen in a show of frustration, then won four straight games to make things more interesting.
But Mladenovic managed to serve out the victory.
“I felt I was in the match. But tennis-wise, I still knew I was far off from how well I can play,” Bouchard said. “But, you know, I was in there, and I just felt like I couldn’t be as relaxed as I wanted to on the court.”
As for whether this latest setback will linger in her mind for a while, Bouchard insisted she would get over it soon.
“I mean, definitely for a day or so, I’ll think about the match. But I think it’s important to try to move on quickly in tennis in general because every Monday there is a new chance,” she said. “So I’m going to try and forget this one.”
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