NEW YORK – Canadian Genie Bouchard has pulled out of next week’s Coupe Banque Nationale in Quebec City.
“I am extremely disappointed to have to withdraw from the National Bank Cup because it’s a tournament that I enjoy and I am always motivated to play at home in front of the Quebec crowd,” was the quote from Bouchard in the press release.
“I have been dealing with a virus for the past few days that has not allowed me to train since the end of the U.S. Open and will prevent me from playing the tournament. I will focus my energy on recovering, but I don’t know when I will be able to return to competition,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard’s next scheduled event is in Seoul, Korea, an International-level WTA event the following week (week of Sept. 18). She also is entered in the qualifying of the Premier 5 event in Wuhan, China the week after that and then into the Premier Mandatory tournament in Beijing the week after Wuhan.
Camila Giorgi of Italy has also withdrawn from Quebec City. Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak, who celebrated her 30th birthday Thursday, got a nice gift a day late and received a wild card into the main draw.
She had been slated to play the qualifying.
Replacing Bouchard and Giorgi in the main draw are Marina Erakovic of New Zealand and American Grace Min. The draw will take place Saturday at 1 p.m.
It’s a tough blow for the tournament, which doesn’t have a top-40 player entered. Bouchard, of course, was a premier attraction for the International-level event as a local favorite with a big following.
A year ago, she was paid a substantial appearance fee to play, but lost in the second round to Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia in a rather dramatic exit.
Azarenka and Sharapova not options
Just before the US Open, Victoria Azarenka’s agent had approached the tournament asking if the top-20 wild card was still available, because she was interested in playing it. In the end, Azarenka’s custody-related issues at home prevented her from considering it.
No doubt the tournament director is making a major effort to reach out to another top player to try to replace its marquee attraction.
Maria Sharapova would have been an intriguing – and game-changing – possibility. But with her memoir due for official release on Tuesday, she has a full slate of promotional activities set up in conjunction with that.
(Pic of Bouchard above from Instagram, posted Wednesday as a promo for her host hotel and a farewel to New York after a tough US Open).