brutal. The girls work as hard as the men and they throw in eight hours of training.
“They watch what they eat, they play two on one ... it is just unbelievable. It is so physically demanding.
“As such, the risk of getting injured is high. Just look at the many, who suffered injuries at the recent Australian Open. Staying healthy and taking care of oneself is so important to prolong one’s tennis career nowadays.”
Both evert and eugenie however, were as straightforward as their famous two-handed backhand returns, when they were asked on what it took to become professionals and how to stay motivated even when the going gets tough.
“Playing tennis is like life. You work, work and work. You can lose, but you pick yourself up and go on the next day, and set new goals,” said evert.
“I was just an ordinary girl when I embraced the sport. If you look at me, I was not the biggest, I was neither the strongest nor the quickest, but I made it happen. I wanted it badly. I was hungry for it and I put all the work in it. If I can achieve it, anyone else can.
“Billie Jean is remembered for being the one to fight for equality in prize money for men and women. Those days, the women used to get 10% of what the men were getting. That was not fair. Li na is now making her stand in China, where players do not get to take the whole prize money,” said evert.
For Bouchard, the way to move forward is about having short memories – whether one plays good or bad.
“I was happy to make the Australia Open semi-finals, but at the same time, it was disappointing to lose. But the defeat is quickly forgotten,” said Bouchard.
“It is good to have a short memory when one plays bad or loses because negative thoughts can be disruptive. If you fall now, there is always a chance next week or the week after. It is like life, there are always chances to do better and improve,” she added.
“There is so much pressure when you start playing better. People expect you to win. I will try not to worry about what people say. I cannot control that. I put pressure on myself because I expect a lot from myself.”
Bouchard is a tough cookie on court indeed. But a question by a young Singaporean school boy on how she looks so good while playing however, made her blush.
“Thank you. I’m sweaty and all. But during the game, I’m all focused. But I do like to wear different outfits and try to be fashionable. It is fun and I just love it,” said the World no. 19.
If Bouchard can maintain her performances throughout this year, expect her to return to Singapore in her best outfits as one of the eight stars battling for the honours in the season finale WTA Championships in October.
And if evert is right, it is going to be a darn good show in Singapore.