Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard notches big pickleball win

Eugenie Bouchard, from Canada, returns the ball to Danielle Collins, from the United States, during their qualifying match at the National Bank Open tennis tournament in Montreal, Saturday, August 5, 2023. (Graham Hughes/CP)

Eugenie Bouchard hasn’t played a WTA tennis match yet this year, but the Canadian has found another way to get her competitive fix.

The 2014 Wimbledon finalist started playing professional pickleball this year — and picked up the biggest win of her early career in the sport on Thursday.

Seeded 18th, Bouchard defeated No. 6 seed Lauren Stratman 11-5, 7-11, 11-0 in the round of 16 at the Carvana Professional Pickleball Tour’s Fanatics Sportsbook NC Cup in North Carolina.

Bouchard notched her first win in pickleball at her fourth tournament earlier this week in mixed doubles.

Although Bouchard hasn’t retired from tennis, her ranking has tumbled in recent years as she battled numerous injuries.

However, she did help Canada win the Billie Jean King Cup last November.

Pickleball has experienced a surge of popularity in recent years in North America, with courts popping up in many locations.

Bouchard told ESPN earlier this year the pickleball tour made her “a great offer that I really couldn’t refuse”

“I have zero expectations at this point,” Bouchard told ESPN in January. “I want to get my bearings. I want to just not embarrass myself, maybe that’s a good goal, and just get the hang of things, on court and off. I want to have fun, try my best and really just not be too hard on myself.”

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