Eugenie Bouchard’s hopes of French Open glory were shattered by Maria Sharapova on Thursday, but the fast-rising Canadian is convinced her time for Grand Slam glory is coming.
Bouchard took the first set against the Russian superstar, but, like many before her, she was reeled in by the former world number one and eventually sent packing in the third set 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
It meant back to back semi-final losses for the 20-year-old from Montreal following her last four defeat to eventual winner Li Na at the Australian Open, but she feels she is on a steady learning curve.
“I felt definitely better on the court than I did in the first semi-final,” Bouchard said.
“I think playing big matches like this, the more I play, the more I’ll feel good out there. I felt good today.
“You know, playing on such a big stage is definitely a big moment, but I feel like I handled it well. I feel like in the future I’ll be able to handle it well as well and just keep trying to improve and get better from here.”
Getting better from here for Bouchard in the immediate future means getting herself ready for Wimbledon where she won the junior girls title in 2012, with Canada also winning the junior boys title that year through Felip Peliwo.
Bouchard went on to be named the WTA Newcomer of the Year last year and her run into the Australian Open semi-finals propelled her into the world top 20 as one of the most marketable women players on the circuit.
Her semi-final appearance in Paris has further boosted her confidence as she had little experience of claycourt play at Tennis Canada’s National Training Centre in Montreal and Nick Saviano’s Academy in Florida over the last five years.
“Well, I feel good on all surfaces now. I wouldn’t say I don’t like this surface or that surface, but I think I have improved my game on the red clay here in Europe.
“So I think I adjusted to red clay when I arrived in Europe and in Paris, but apart from that, I think I like grass quite a lot. This is my favourite surface, which is good, because now we’re going to play on grass.”
First though Bouchard says she intends to take some time off to recharge her batteries ahead of Wimbledon where she reached the third round last year.
“The time has come for me to have a little rest,” she said.
“I have played so much recently. I have had a tournament before Roland Garros that I had to play, and I have played until now.
“So it’s been three long weeks for me. I need therefore to rest for a little while, and then after this I’ll see.”