Whenever we talk about Genie Bouchard, we talk about 2014.
That was her breakout year, with semifinals appearances at both the Australian Open and French Open followed by a trip to the Wimbledon final. But for a year that produced so many fond memories, 2014 is also a year that continues to haunt Bouchard because everything she has done since has been compared to that storied season.
But a new year means a fresh start, for everyone.
Bouchard has repeatedly said that she doesn’t want to look back on the past. She doesn’t even want to be the player she was in 2014. She wants to and needs to be better. And she’s on her way.
Bouchard had a good showing in Sydney last week, stringing together wins over Zhang Shuai, Dominika Cibulkova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, all ranked inside the top 30. For a player who’s fuelled by confidence, Bouchard has continued to gain momentum in Melbourne with a 56-minute opening-round win over Louisa Chirico, a straight-sets win over Peng Shuai and a winnable match against Coco Vandeweghe awaiting her in the third round.
Consistency is something that Bouchard has struggled to find the past two years, yet she’s already finding it less than a month into 2017. With a steady and familiar coach in Thomas Hogstedt partnered with a clear plan and mindset, it’s shaping up to be a good and, dare I say, bounce-back year for Bouchard.
But as I said, a new year means a fresh start, for everyone. Bouchard’s success this year shouldn’t be measured in comparison to her results in 2014. That was three years ago and has proven to be an outlier in her still young career. Her success in 2017 should be measured by her match-by-match and tournament-by-tournament results. She has the skill to be a top-10 player, that never left her, it’s just about consistently having that game. Besides, ‘flash in the pan’ is so 2014.