Canadian Phenom Genie Bouchard On Junior Tennis, The Jonas Brothers, And Lamping

Canadian Eugenie "Genie" Bouchard hits a forehand during her win over Alison Riske at the 2011 Citi Open in College Park, Maryland (Photo by Ben Rothenberg)

Eugenie "Genie" Bouchard talks to SB Nation about Canadian tennis, lamping, and how winning a Grand Slam might make a Jonas Brother notice her.

Long before planking was "discovered" by the likes of Gilbert Arenas, the meme had come and gone through the tennis world.  The trend setters in tennis haven't been the old guard, but rather a pair of 17-year-old girls, Brit Laura Robson and Canadian Eugenie "Genie" Bouchard.

Not only is Bouchard establishing herself as a tastemaker, she's also playing some phenomenal tennis.  Currently No. 6 in the junior rankings, Bouchard notched her first career WTA main draw win Tuesday at the Citi Open in College Park, Maryland, beating American Alison Riske emphatically, 6-3, 6-2. 

After her win, SB Nation talked to Genie about her tennis, her thoughts on new internet movements, and more.


* * *

TDF: You just got your first WTA main draw win--what does that feel like for you?

Genie Bouchard: It's really exciting. Everyone's been telling me "it's your first WTA win!" so that's been really exciting.  I can't wait to play my match tomorrow and go even further...again. Two wins (laughs).

TDF: You've been doing really well in juniors, making the quarterfinals of Wimbledon recently. How much more juniors do you think you're going to play, or are you going to switch to pro events exclusively soon?

Genie Bouchard: I'm going to play the Junior US Open coming up, and then next year probably just the junior Grand Slams.  Besides that, the rest I'll play professionally. I still think it's good to play the junior slams, and improve my junior ranking to something better than what it is.  I got to the semis in Australia, and the quarters of Wimbledon, so hopefully I'll be able to go even further at the next slam.


TDF: You're one of the big tweeters out there...

Genie Bouchard: (laughs)

TDF: ...and you've recently been pushing two new things.  Let's start with lamping...

Genie Bouchard: Oh my God... (laughs)

TDF: Have you tried lamping?

Genie Bouchard: I have not, because I just discovered it a few days ago, and I wasn't about to take a lampshade off at the hotel and try it on. I didn't want to break anything.

TDF: You need a lamp from home?

Genie Bouchard: Yeah, exactly. I might wait until I'm home. But I saw people doing it, and I was like "hey, this is the new trend guys." (laughs)

TDF: And also, there's leisure diving

Genie Bouchard: Yeah!

TDF: That seems like it would be a lot tougher, and like it would take a lot more time and planning.  Are you planning on trying leisure diving, and if so, what challenges do you anticipate?

Genie Bouchard: Me and my younger brother, we were online and saw these cool pictures of these people.  They get dressed up, and they take so much time to take this picture in, like, half-a-second. And if they mess up the picture they have to do it all again, with a dry suit and everything.  So we thought it was crazy.  So maybe when we're back home, or we go to the pool, we'll do it for fun, but it looks really tough to get a really good picture.

TDF: When I knew I would be talking to you, I asked our friend Forty Deuce
about you, who told me that you are a big Justin Bieber and Jonas Brothers fan...

Genie Bouchard: Yeah...

TDF: Which one more now? It seems like the Jonas Brothers are pretty much in the past...

Genie Bouchard. They are in the past, but I still love them. I think because they're a bit less popular I have more of a chance now.

TDF: And there's three of them.

Genie Bouchard: Exactly. But my favorite is the middle one, Joe.  He's the one I'm aiming for.  If I win a Grand Slam, maybe he'll notice me.

TDF: They've been at the US Open, I think.

Genie Bouchard: Yeah they have, and they've performed at Kids Day.  I actually met them backstage at a concert in Montreal, and it was like the best day of my life, and I like hyperventilated after. So yeah, there's definitely a little bit of fan geekiness in me, and I just love them.  I'm not shy to admit it.

TDF: You seem to be pretty good friends with Laura Robson, and it seems like a lot of players in this younger generation are closer than the previous generations have been.  Do you think all this new social media could be helping that?

Genie Bouchard: Totally. Laura and me have been sending messages on Facebook all the time, because I see her only a few weeks a year since we travel so much. I think its good to have one or two good friends on tour. But obviously, most of them you're going to compete against, and you have to leave the friendship aside when you go on the court. But it's fun having some friends when you travel around, because it becomes lonely after a while.

TDF: Seems like there's more and more Canadian players who are doing well lately. You, obviously, Rebecca Marino, and Milos Raonic on the men's side. Do you think there's anything to that, all these Canadians at once?

Genie Bouchard: I think they're doing well because they have big weapons and they're able to control the points. It's kind of different from what Canadians have done in the past, and I try to do that as well.  My strength is my serve, and I try to control the point with that.  It's good for Canadian tennis, and hopefully it will keep improving.

TDF: What are your plans for the rest of the year? I assume you'll be getting a wild card into Toronto?

Genie Bouchard: We don't know yet, if I'm getting one for qualies or main draw.  But next week I'm going to Vancouver, I have a main draw wild card there.

TDF: Unless you make the finals here.

Genie Bouchard: Yeah, that's true. (laughs)  I'll take a week off if I make the finals here.  Then a few weeks of training, and then I'm playing the junior event in Canada, the G1, then the junior US Open.  Then there's a WTA in Quebec City, the Challenge Bell, and then some more pros after that.

TDF: You have any goals for the rest of the year?

Genie Bouchard: Yeah, definitely want to keep improving my game.  Every day I'm working with my coach, and you can improve on everything, all the time. So it's a lot about that. And during my matches, also, to think about what we were working on in practice. I think I did that well today. I think I stayed mentally calm, and everything. Just focusing on my game, because if my game is there, the performance will come.

TDF: Well good luck the rest of the way...

Genie Bouchard: Thank you...

TDF: There's an IKEA about two miles away, if you need a lamp.

Genie Bouchard: (laughs) I might stop by there. If I win the tournament, I'll stop by there.

TDF: Maybe after you win the semifinal, stop by there and get one for the trophy ceremony?

Genie Bouchard: (laughs). I'll do that. I think I will actually do that. (laughs).

Stay tuned to SB Nation's coverage of the 2011 US Open Series at as well as on Twitter, @DailyForehand .

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