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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.

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