Even Friday afternoon, Canadian Genie Bouchard was still on the entry list for the qualifying at the Rome Premier 5 tournament next week.
At the 11th hour, however, the 23-year-old was a late scratch. Her ranking at the deadline did not allow her straight into the main draw at the tournament, which has only 43 direct-entry spots available compared to the 51 this week in Madrid.
After her resurgent effort this week, it’s a bit of a momentum-killer in a season of fits and starts. As well, she’s often said Rome is one of her favorite cities.
Tennis.Life was told that rather than rush from Madrid to Rome to play the qualifying on little sleep, with little turnaround time to adjust to the conditions, it was decided to do a training week instead. Bouchard still has the tournament in Nürnberg, Germany the following week to make final preparations for Roland Garros.
She is currently in London, and has already begun working on a few elements that will come in handy when the grass-court season begins, right after Paris.
Encouraging week, after a tough season
The Canadian began the season in fine fashion, reaching the semi-finals at the Sydney tournament and playing good tennis at the Australian Open.
Then, she didn’t play for more than a month.
She bypassed the Middle East swing through Doha and Dubai and returned only for a tournament in Acapulco just before Indian Wells.
After that, a series of first-round losses sapped her confidence.
She finally turned the tide in Madrid, posting wins over Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber before falling in the quarter-finals to No. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
No word on the reason for the withdrawal, although the slide in the quality of movement during her loss to Kuznetsova compared to her wins earlier in the tournament might have been an early hint of an injury.