Bouchard, Kyr­gios con­spire to hush ‘ haters’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE

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.

JA­SON REED / REUTERS

Eu­ge­nie Bouchard of Canada re­acts af­ter her win against Do­minika Cibulkova of Slo­vakia at the Syd­ney International on Tues­day.

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