Eugenie Bouchard fist-bumps Gabriela Dabrowski. Bouchard competed at an ITF event this week.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

For the first time in 2024, Eugenie Bouchard was competing in a professional tennis event on the ITF tour last week. 

While her tournament ended in disappointing fashion, the former world No. 5 showed some good form in the early rounds. 

Meanwhile, the final 1000 event before Roland-Garros did not provide the same positives results as Madrid the week prior. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Under the Radar: Bouchard Returns 

A familiar face returned to the tennis courts last week as Eugenie Bouchard competed in her first event of the season at the ITF W75 in Zephyrhills, Florida. 

It was Bouchard’s first competitive tennis event since helping Canada to the Billie Jean King Cup title last November. She looked strong in her opening match, her first singles match since Guadalajara in September 2023, dropping just three games in a win over sixth seed Justine Mikulskyte. 

Bouchard then battled past Fanni Stollar in three sets before going up against top seed Kayla Day in the quarter-finals. The pair split two long sets before the Canadian suddenly was forced to retire before the start of the third. 

She also reached the quarter-finals of the doubles with Stollar, where they lost to top seed Sophie Chang and Jamie Loeb 10-8 in the match tiebreak. 

Read also: Félix and Leylah’s Mural at IGA Stadium in Montreal

Carol Zhao and Marina Stakusic also reached W75 quarter-finals in Fukuoka, Japan and Prague, Czechia respectively. 

The ITF Junior Tour passed through Ile des Soeurs last week and the host nation once again cleaned up, with Canadians accounting for every spot in the semifinals.  

After his brother won a pair of titles in the last few weeks, it was Mikael Arseneault’s turn to claim the boys singles and teamed up with Finn Muller to win the doubles. Unseeded Anna Tabunshchyk beat three seeds on her way to the girls singles title and also took the doubles with Brooke Feth. 

This week, the ITF Junior Tour is stopping in Halifax. 

In Case You Missed It: Short Stay in Rome 

The Canadian contingent was unable to replicate their success from the Madrid Open this past week in Rome, with all three Canadians in the singles draw failing to reach the round of sixteen. 

Only Félix Auger-Aliassime managed to win a singles match, taking down Botic van de Zandschulp in his opener before falling in a tight three-hour three-setter to ninth seed Alex de Minaur in the third round. 

Denis Shapovalov also lost a three-hour thriller in round one against local Luciano Darderi. Leylah Annie Fernandez was bested in her first-round match by Ana Bogdan in straight sets.  

Fernandez is the lone Canadian competing in the doubles in Rome, playing alongside Aranxta Rus. They beat Monica Niculescu and Alycia Parks in straight sets in their opening match. 

What to Watch: Doubles in Focus 

Canada’s hopes in week two of the Italian Open lie with Leylah Annie Fernandez, who is still alive in the doubles draw in Rome.  

She and Arantxa Rus play sixth seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko in the round of 16 on Monday. A win would set up a clash with the all-Italian pair of Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini. 

Eighth seeds Caroline Dolehide and Desirae Krawczyk are the projected semifinal opponents. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.