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January 23, 2015

Eugenie Bouchard


7-5, 6-0
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Second set easier for you?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I wasn't playing great tennis in the first. I feel like she was putting some pressure on me and I really didn't feel like I got a rhythm. But I'm happy that I just kept going. Even if it wasn't going so well, I was able to turn it around.

Q. So those unforced errors in the second set, you think your game got better and forced her to make mistakes?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think so. I loosened up a bit and started going for my shots and playing my game, which is what I need to do more. Yeah, probably taking a bit of time away from her stepping in. She was playing that way as well. It ended up being first-strike tennis and I did that better in the second.

Q. Seemed like your nerves were better than hers and you hit the big shots at the right time. Must be some satisfaction in that?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I mean, I just tried to stay calm. I knew that I would hopefully find my groove at some point. Kept going, going, tried to stay with her on her service games. She could definitely serve well. I was telling myself to be ready for anything and try to get a rhythm even though it was hard. Finally it clicked a little bit and I was able to roll.

Q. (Indiscernible. )
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I think it's something I do well. I try to put pressure right away from the return, even if they're serving well. I'm always usually confident in my return and try to step in even on the serve. She was hitting some good serves today too and sometimes there wasn't much I can do. Yeah, that's always one of my goals when I step on the court.

Q. This twirly business the other night on court...
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I was waiting for this one.

Q. It's caused a bit of a stir. I'm wondering if you're aware of what stir it's caused. What do you think of the reaction to it?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: A little bit. You know, I stay out of this stuff, but I heard a little bit. My friends are texting me saying I dance and twirl well and stuff as jokes. Yeah, I think it was just kind of funny. You know, I'm fine with being asked to twirl if they ask the guys to flex their muscles and stuff.

Q. So you would like to see it kind of an even playing field in that way?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Sure. (Smiling.)

Q. Are you offended in any way because Billie Jean King says it's truly sexist?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Personally I'm not offended. No, I think it was an in-the-moment thing and it was funny. But, yeah, I mean, it's just funny how it's taken a life of its own. I'm just going to try to focus on my tennis.

Q. Is it déjà vu from the situation here last year and the on-court question?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: You mean the Bieber question? I guess a little bit. I don't know. They try to ask funny questions. It's entertaining, I guess. I don't mind it. People can think what they want about it, but I just answer how I want and do what I want. I'm fine with it.

Q. Does it frustrate you that so many people are talking about this instead of your tennis?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I guess they find it more entertaining. Yeah, I'm happy that I've played three solid matches here and we could definitely be a little bit more focused on that.

Q. Did you feel that was a bit more of a test today? She was best player you played so far. It was a good match to get through.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I do, I do. She can hit the ball off the serve and both sides, so it's -- it was good for me to kind of see a bit of a faster pace. Play against a solid player who definitely we'll have some battles in the future. She's definitely going to be good. I think it was good for me to match up against someone like that, and especially not playing so well, to really kind of dig myself through a win is one of those scrappy tough wins, in the first set at least; I was able to find my groove in the second.

Q. Between the two sets what did you tell yourself to come out firing in the second?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I reapplied some sunscreen on my face. I was relaxing with my ice towel. I don't know if I said anything. I think it was kind of empty up there. No, just kidding. Just felt myself loosen up a little bit. I was really happy that I won the first, but I wasn't pleased with it. I was disappointed. I know I can play so much better tennis. I just told myself, Look, you have to start playing your best tennis now. I was able to do that a little bit.

Q. How well do you know Begu?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Not well. I didn't even know she won. I'll talk to my coach a little bit, but I'm going to work on some stuff in practice tomorrow. Just work on myself, my stuff.

Q. Feel like your game is at the level now if you play your best that's sort of enough, that you don't have to worry so much about the opponent's strengths and weaknesses?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: That's what I hope for. You know, but you can never control what your opponent does. I'm definitely confident in my level and my skill. I know if I perform well and play well, then I'm putting all my chances on my side. That's all I can really do on the court. I'm gaining confidence with every match, but I know from here on out every match will be tougher. The fourth round of a Grand Slam, it's just going to start getting harder. But I definitely have full belief in my skills.

Q. You came to New Zealand about two years ago and you were ranked about 160 in the world. You told us there at the time that you hoped to break into the top 50 one day. Can you believe how far you've come, and do you have any memories of that time in Auckland?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I'm sure like when I said I wanted to break into the top 50 that was a short-term goal. I don't think that was my ultimate goal. Yeah, it's been a whirlwind since then. I'm proud of how I've progressed probably so quickly. That's probably - I wouldn't say surprising - but that's sticks out to me. I always knew I could do it. There is so much more I want to achieve. It's such a long journey. I'm not really going to, you know, sit and just kind of reflect on my year last year. I have to just keep pushing forward, because all the other girls are. That's what I need to do, too.

Q. Some players, like Serena, says there is more camaraderie on the tour than in the past, and some say it's not changed. How would you describe the camaraderie on the tour?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I haven't been on tour that long, so I wouldn't be able to compare it. For me, I see them as competition. You know, I don't want to become really good friends with any of the girls or tour. I'm definitely friendly with most of them, and that's fine, but I kind of come here, do my job, and leave. I think that's the best way for me to stay focused and not really have distractions.

Q. What's it like in the locker room? Is there a lot of talking and bantering or are you all just focused on the game now?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I mean, it's fine in the locker room. I'm sure you imagine like Mean Girls or something. It's not like that. It's pretty chill, pretty relaxed. We're all friendly and talking to each other and that's fine. When it's match day or game time, for me I'm definitely in my own bubble doing my own thing.

Q. It's one of your favorite movies though, isn't it?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It's my favorite movie.

Q. How much time do you practice return of serve in your practice sessions?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Probably similar to the amount I serve. I mean, a bit less, but I think it's important to try to do some for me ever practice or every day, because -- well, I mean, I think it's the second most important shot in tennis. I know that's cliche. But it's true. You're going to be returning the shot. Especially in the girls game, I think if you can try to break as often as possible that's a good thing. I definitely do it a lot. I always tell my coach to serve harder. He never serves hard enough.

Q. As a tennis fan when you were growing up, was there one rivalry that you really enjoyed watching?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well I've always loved watching Roger and Rafa. I'm a Roger fan, so I was always cheering for him. But I think they had some amazing battles, especially when they played in a finals of a slam. It was always so fun to watch.

Q. Would've been hard getting up early today.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, different schedule today. I can't complain. That's what tennis is. It was definitely a little different. I basically finished the match when I basically woke up like two days ago. Tennis is interesting that way. I don't know. It's not my favorite, but I'm totally fine either way.
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