Montreal’s Eugenie Bouchard thinks about tennis all the time — even when she’s relaxing.
The 19-year-old is preparing for the biggest match of her fledging career as she faces Ana Ivanovic in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Bouchard, whose WTA ranking is expected to rise as high as No. 21 after this tournament, will face a tough test in Ivanovic, a former No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion.
Despite the daunting task, Bouchard has found some time to unwind.
“Right now I’m watching Heart of Dixie on my computer,” said Bouchard on Monday. “But I do enjoy watching tennis at night, Of course, it’s tennis. But to me it’s still watching as a fan, it’s entertaining.
“I love tennis, it’s my life. So thinking about tennis all the time is kind of what I do. I don’t really try to get away from it too much. Once in a while, yes — but it’s my job.”
Bouchard’s main task along with coach Nick Saviano will be to break down the game of Ivanovic, who has not lost a match this season (9-0) and came to Melbourne with the Auckland title to hand.
The 14th-seeded Serb is fresh from her knockout of top seed Serena Williams while Bouchard booked her place with a win over Australian Casey Dellacqua 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0 to become the first Canadian woman since Patricia Hy-Boulais at the 1992 U.S. Open to get this far at a major.
“She beat Serena so she’s playing really well,” Bouchard said of Ivanovic. “I’m going to look forward to a really tough battle. We’re in the quarters now, so she deserves to be there. No one’s going to give it to me, so it’s going to be a good match.”
Bouchard had a tune-up day on Monday as the second week began, teaming with pick-up doubles partner Vera Dushevina against women’s sixth seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and India’s Sania Mirza in the third round. Bouchard and Dushevina lost 6-4, 6-3.
She did, however, make a strategic move and withdrew from mixed doubles with Australian Sam Groth to conserve strength and focus for the singles.
Toronto’s Daniel Nestor and Serb partner Nenad Zimonjic bid for the men’s quarter-finals against the ninth-seeded team of Poland’s Marius Frystenberg and Marcin Matkowski.
Bouchard said that she is taking confidence into her match with Ivanovic after beating her at Wimbledon last summer in a match suddenly moved onto Centre Court.
“I always expect a lot from myself. Every match I go on the court believing I can win,” said Bouchard. “Just take it one match at a time. I just have a match in two days and I’m just looking forward to that.
“Ana is playing really well right now and she has a lot of confidence; it will be a really tough match.”