Ladies and gentlemen, she’s back.
When she was only 20 years old, Eugenie Bouchard was a relative unknown. In 2014, everything changed.
— Tennis24.com (@Tennis24com) November 18, 2014
Almost every single one of her stats improved – win rate, serve efficiency, and break chances all skyrocketed. Then in 2015, everything changed… again.
— Justine Lewkowicz (@JustineLewkowic) August 12, 2015
In the rapid ascension to superstardom, her game seemed to evaporate. Unfortunately, when your game fails you, your confidence is not far behind. Needless to say, 2015 was a BAD year for Genie Bouchard.
In typical Genie fashion, she has turned it around AGAIN in 2016, currently ranked world No. 45 and on the rise. Let’s take a look at three reasons why Genie is BACK.
Simona Halep said it best, “She will come back because she has the game.” As it turns out, Simona knows what she’s talking about. Entering the Miami Open, she ranked third on the WTA wins leaderboard with 15 – only behind Radwanska (17) and Azaranka (16). At 15-7 this year, Genie owns more wins than she had in ALL of 2015 (14-19).
She managed to beat several powerful opponents, the toughest being world No. 22 Sloane Stephens in two close sets (Sloane has already won two titles this year!). This win represented her best by ranking since she beat No. 7 Caroline Wozniacki all the way back in September 2014 at Wuham – isn’t that insane?
Genie is notorious for having a finicky serve. It will be there for one game and disappear the next. When looking at 2015 service statistics, almost every number seems like an outlier. Most of the service statistics are more than a few percentage points below any other year in her professional career. Genie has almost returned to her 2014 serving form, but has managed to improve her second serve winning percentage significantly.
Let’s take a deeper look at this. Genie has the sixth-most double faults on tour this season (2.9 per match), which is a marked increase from any other year. Even if we dismiss this newfound tendency, Genie is not known for her ability to hold serve. Miraculously, she has managed to increase her second serve winning percentage to 49.5%, up from 46.0% in 2014. If this continues, her hold rate will skyrocket and when combined with her killer return game (see below!), the wins will start rolling in.
All great players show up in the clutch. In 2016, Genie has a 75% win rate in tiebreaks – this is 26% better (!) than her career average. Can she keep this up? Only time will tell but FOR NOW, follow her progress at the Twitter handle @DidGenieWin (lol) and continue to enjoy the ice in her veins.