Champion in Waiting
As I said the other day on twitter, we may as well call it now for the Lou Marsh award. Let’s put it this way, if anyone overtakes her as the 2014 Canadian athlete of the year then they’ve done something amazing!
We aren’t quite there yet Canada. Not just YET. Far and away we are watching the golden era of Canadian tennis. Nothing against Daniel Nestor who has an incredible resume (85 men’s doubles titles, Olympic gold in 2000, 4 mixed doubles titles, etc), but we’re talking singles and singles is where all the glory is at in tennis. Anyway as I was saying we aren’t quite there YET, and “there” is the peak of it all. But make no mistake, Eugenie Bouchard is on her way to the top.
I kind of feel bad for Milos Raonic that his run to the semi’s at Wimbledon got overshadowed this week. It is incredible that we now have two top 10 tennis players in the world, and Raonic is almost becoming an afterthought in this country.
But it’s understandable. There isn’t anything graceful in Raonic game. He’s all power, and while it is incredible that he is ranked 9th in the world (I want to say he is also moving to 7th in the new rankings but not sure yet), he isn’t close to Djokovic, Nadal, or Federer and likely won’t ever get close. The biggest hope we can have for Raonic is that he comes through the ashes of a Grand Slam filled with upsets and takes one home.
Genie is personable and confident and beautiful and just everything this country is going to adore not only as an athlete but as a celebrity.
It’s pretty clear that her only issue in her game right now is power. In the Aussie, French and now Wimbledon she got overpowered by Li Na, Maria Sharapova and now Petra Kvitova. They’re 31 (at the time), 27 and 24 respectively. I know they came along at nearly the exact same time, but Martina Hingis and Serena Williams who were freakishly gifted at such a young age isn’t the norm. As Bouchard gets older, she’ll develop more power and won’t get overwhelmed by it like she has been.
She also seemingly has the desire you need to get to the top. She doesn’t come across as someone who is anything satisfied with something like being the best Canadian female tennis player of all time. It isn’t much of an accomplishment with all due respect to those who have come before Genie. But she clearly wants to be number 1 and to win multiple Grand Slams.
So it was a let down yesterday for the nation. A lot of people in the tennis world really believed she was ready to take that next step and win it all. She will. Knock on wood that the success doesn’t get to her, but again she doesn’t seem at all like the type who would get complacent. At the rate she’s been improving it’s tough not to envision another deep run at the US Open, and by then who knows how good she could be.
Pretty cool having a superstar in tennis. It’s been a sport that I’ve always liked and followed but never got fully invested in, but now I have a reason to as we all do. Settle in and enjoy the show Canada, this was only the opening credits.
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