Eugenie Bouchard, Milos Raonic out of Rogers Cup
Canada's top-ranked tennis players ousted in openers
Eugenie Bouchard continued her downward spiral Tuesday night with a first-round loss at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, while fellow Canadian Milos Raonic failed to make a successful comeback from injury and was also bounced in his opening match in Montreal.
With the home crowd behind her in Toronto, Bouchard fell to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic 6-0, 5-7, 6-2.
In 2014, the 21-year-old Westmount, Que., native enjoyed a meteoric rise to the No. 5 ranking in the world, reaching the semifinals of three consecutive Grand Slams, including the Wimbledon final, and gaining fans from across the country along the way.
Bouchard's struggles began not long after her Wimbledon run. At last year's Rogers Cup in Montreal she lost to qualifier Shelby Rogers, and her problems have gotten worse this year. Bouchard has now lost the first match in eight of her last 10 WTA events, slipped to No. 25 in the world and dropping, and parted with two coaches since November.
The reaction from tennis fans and media was harsh at times after her latest Rogers Cup ouster.
Whatever magic Genie had that made last year so excellent is long gone. This is hard to watch. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RogersCup?src=hash">#RogersCup</a>—@DGelevan
Genie Bouchard seems like the next Anna Kournikova. Better model than tennis player. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RogersCup?src=hash">#RogersCup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TurnItAround?src=hash">#TurnItAround</a>—@chuck_woodward
Maybe Tiger Woods and Eugenie Bouchard should get together ... and talk.—@longleysunsport
It's almost like we feel sorry for Genie Bouchard now so media cheers for her. She lost her sets 6-0, 6-2. So what if she fought hard?—@simmonssteve
Regardless of what happens, it's nearly impossible to cheer for Genie Bouchard. She's undeserving of this support. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RogersCup?src=hash">#RogersCup</a>—@LamyaAsiff
Although most were highly critical of the young tennis star, some still remain optimistic about Bouchard's future.
Watched Bouchard's presser -- I liked her answers. I think there's hope. It's not a deep group in the WTA Top 20. She does have the tools.—@bradyfan590
"If the grass looks greener on the other side, stop staring. Stop comparing. Stop complaining & Start watering the grass you're standing on"—@SamSumyk
There continues to be a lot of speculation surrounding the cause of Bouchard's free fall. Following the match, she revealed that she parted with her most recent coach after Wimbledon, despite reports only emerging last week. Sam Sumyk posted a revealing tweet after July's event.
Bouchard on split with Sumyk: "It definitely wasn't working. There were some big problems, and I just felt like I had to make a change."—@WTA_insider
Bouchard confirmed that it wasn't working, but remained tight-lipped on her coaching plans going forward.
Sad day for Canadian tennis. <a href="https://twitter.com/milosraonic">@milosraonic</a> loses in front of the home crowd as well. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RogersCup?src=hash">#RogersCup</a>—@musicsmith14
Raonic rounds out disappointing day for Canada
Raonic, in his first action in a month since returning from a pinched nerve in his foot, came out on the wrong end of a 7-6 (1), 7-6 (1) decision against Ivo Karlovic in a battle of towering sluggers in Montreal.
The 24-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., was ranked 10th prior to Tuesday's match.
While Bouchard's result was more harshly received by many observers, Raonic's was met with disappointment and concern over his preparedness going forward given his injury.
Ivo Karlovic beats Milos Raonic 7-6, 7-6 in his first match back. Raonic's tennis isn't there yet. Question is, will it be for the US Open?—@ArashMadani
With files from the Canadian Press