Where does Eugenie Bouchard go from here?
During the past two months, the 26-year-old from Westmount has shown that she can still play tennis at an elite level and has climbed up to No. 140 in the WTA rankings after starting the year outside the top 300.
But there are few opportunities to improve on that ranking this year after losing to Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-3, 6-2 on Friday in the third round of the French Open.
The lucrative Asian Tour has been wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic and there are only a handful of European events remaining on the calendar before the new season is scheduled to get underway in January in Australia. The WTA added a Premier level event this month in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It has a limited 28-player draw and Bouchard would need a wild-card to get a spot in the main draw.
Bouchard received a wild-card into the French Open and justified her selection by winning two matches before running into the 19-year-old Swiatek.
The Pole used her power to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the third time in her young career. She hit 30 winners to eight for Bouchard. Most of the winners were the result of powerful ground strokes that kept Bouchard scrambling beyond the baseline, but four of them came on drop shots.
Bouchard had the only two aces of the match and had a higher first-serve percentage, but she was in trouble when she didn’t put her first serve in play. She won only three of 21 points on her second serve.
Leylah Annie Fernandez, an 18-year-old from Laval, is the only Canadian still alive in the singes events at Roland Garros. She has a tough test on Saturday when she plays seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova.