|Eugenie Bouchard hits a return from Andrea Petkovic during the Rogers Cup at the Rexall Centre in Toronto, Ont., Aug. 9, 2011. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - If Eugenie Bouchard was a normal teenager, she probably would have been shopping for back-to-school clothes and hanging out with her friends on a warm summer day.
Instead, the 17-year-old from Westmount, Que., was playing the 10th-ranked player in women's tennis, Andrea Petkovic of Germany, on centre court at the Rexall Centre in the Rogers Cup. It was a first-time experience that was ramped up because of the magnitude of the event and the added expectations that go along with playing on home soil.
Pressure? What pressure?
"No, I love it, actually," Bouchard said after losing 6-2, 6-2 to Petkovic Tuesday afternoon. "The fans, you know, every point I won they were behind me and it was great. I wish I could play more at home but every match I play here I appreciate. But I don't feel pressure, I just really enjoy it."
Despite her age, Bouchard handled her day, which started with a long rain delay, like an old pro on and off the court.
The youngster lost nine consecutive games at one point against Petkovic but showed some grit by breaking the 23-year-old German and holding serve to win back-to-back games and avoid the goose egg in the second set. Then in her post-match media session, she coolly answered questions in both official languages.
"It was a good experience, I wasn't nervous at all, actually," she said. "When I went out on the court, I was just really excited to play. I think I have learned a lot from this match so it's good for the future. It's a long process, for sure, but I'm going to work hard every day and try to get there."