MONTREAL – Budding tennis star Eugenie Bouchard has become the third Canadian woman ever to crack the WTA top 20.
The 19-year-old Montrealer jumped to 19th in the latest rankings, reaching heights that only former stars Carling Bassett (No. 8) and Helen Kelesi (No. 13) have achieved on the tour.
Bouchard had enjoyed stellar run at the Australian Open last week, reaching the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Li Na of China.
Bouchard, the youngest player in the current Top 20, also became a fan and media darling, eliciting colourful pro-Canadian displays in the stands in Melbourne.
Her surprise run Down Under also earned her another milestone - Bouchard has now topped $1 million in career earnings.
Half that amount has come in the past 12 months, a stretch that has seen the teen rise 125 spots in the rankings.
Bouchard isn’t the only Canadian tennis talent breaking through barriers this week.
Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver, who reached the third round in Melbourne, jumped five spots in the ATP rankings to reach a career high of No. 25.
The 23-year-old was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open with a back injury just prior to his match against Swiss star Stanislas Wawrinka, who went on to win the tournament.
Canada’s top player, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., was eliminated in the third round of the Australian Open and held on to his No. 11 ranking on the men’s tour.
Other Canadians in the ATP Top 200 are Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls (119th), Thornhill’s Peter Polansky (135th) and Toronto’s Steven Diez (195th).