What’s it going to be, Eugenie?
MONTREAL — Milos Raonic has already pulled out of the Olympics and now Tennis Canada is awaiting final word on whether Eugenie Bouchard will play at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bouchard, ranked 41st in the world, is entered in the event, but no one is sure if Canada’s top women’s singles player will go.
“I know that she wants to play the Olympics and she’s been part of our campaign and she’s wearing the Canadian flag on her heart,” Tennis Canada chief executive Kelly Murumets said Tuesday. “I think the health concerns in Rio are scaring her a bit, so I think she’s a little bit on the fence.
“She’s signed all the papers and we have hotel and flights for her, but I think she’s a little nervous.”
Gabriella Dabrowski of Ottawa, Canada’s top doubles player, may be even more nervous. She’s scheduled to team with Bouchard in Rio, but if the Westmount, Que., native pulls out, Dabrowski won’t go, either.
Murumets, who spoke to Bouchard at a photo shoot in Toronto last week, expects that Bouchard will talk to Dabrowski before making her decision. Both are to play at the women’s Rogers Cup in Montreal next week.
Seventh-ranked Raonic announced this week he will not go to Rio due to concerns over health, including the Zika virus.
Murumets said the Thornhill, Ont., resident will focus on the men’s Rogers Cup in Toronto and the U.S. Open at the end of August instead.
“Milos is a very intense, intelligent man and I respect his decision,” she said. “He does not take this lightly.
“He has represented Canada all over the world with great pride. I really do think it was about the health concerns in Rio and he just didn’t want to take any chances.”
The women’s Rogers Cup expects a full field of the world’s top players except for Victoria Azarenka, who has taken a break because she is pregnant. It’s an ideal preparation for the Olympics, which will also be played on hard courts.
The men’s Rogers Cup saw world No. 2 Andy Murray, coming off a win over Raonic in the Wimbledon final, pull out this week because of fatigue, which didn’t surprise Tennis Canada vice-president Eugene Lapierre.
“Murray’s had a long season,” said Lapierre.
“He’s been doing good in almost every tournament he played — finals, winning events, winning Wimbledon.
“It’s tough. The guy was hurt. In the final match, if Milios could have taken that third set, I don’t think Murray was there any more.”
Eugenie Bouchard is booked and entered in the Rio Olympic Games, but nobody knows for sure if she’s going.