Bouchard, Kyrgios conspire to hush ‘ haters’
Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard said she has learnt to take no notice of the “haters”, revealing she has spoken with fellow young gun Nick Kyrgios on how to handle the intense scrutiny ahead of next week’s Australian Open.
Despite a slump in form, she and Aussie Kyrgios are two of the sport’s hottest drawcards, with both having to deal with a spotlight on their professional and private lives.
Bouchard, on the comeback trail after her career plunged into a tailspin, said being seen as one of the most marketable players on tour can be a hard ask.
She has discussed the burden of expectations with the brash Kyrgios, tipped as a future Grand Slam champion but who has polarized opinion with his on-court antics.
“Yeah, we have spoken about it a little bit,” she said in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday.
“We just came to the conclusion that haters are going to hate and we weren’t going to listen to them.
“It’s really important to not listen to those people. Why would you not do something because of somebody else’s opinion of you. Do you know what I mean?
“If you think about it, it’s actually crazy. Why should I allow somebody else to dictate my life? That’s Nick’s attitude as well and I think that’s really cool. I respect that.”
Bouchard became one of the most bankable assets in women’s tennis in 2014 when she stormed to the Wimbledon final as well as the semifinals of the Australian and French Opens.
But the confident, charismatic 22-year-old saw her career nosedive in 2015 and her ranking slumped.
Now 49 in the world, she reached her first semifinal for 10 months at the Sydney International this week, before losing to Britain’s Johanna Konta.
She said it was “a good step in the right direction” ahead of the Australian Open, where all eyes will again be on the Quebec native.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada reacts after her win against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia at the Sydney International on Tuesday.