Eugenie Bouchard, or Genie as she introduces herself, has been the frontrunner for Canada’s Darling ever since she made history by becoming the first Canadian to reach the Grand Slam singles finals at Wimbledon in 2014. Besides honing her killer tennis game, she loves online shopping, Italian food and Insta-ing the sh*t out of her life. That means she’s just like us, right? Not quite—at only 22, Genie is the 40th best tennis player in the world, and she has a global following (started by some cute Aussie boys, might we add) called the Genie Army. Amidst her busy training schedule in preparation for the Rogers Cup (July 22-31), Genie sat down with us to chat about something other than her backhand.
You’re competing in the Rogers Cup in the next few weeks. How do you feel going in? How do you calm your nerves?
I’m very happy that I’ll get to play in front of my Canadian fans. They don’t get to see me play often, so I want to make them proud. Before a match, if I’m nervous, I’ll talk to my coach and we’ll discuss the strategy, but also that I should realize that this is just a tennis match. I’m trying to improve and get better for the future. The specific result of one match, of course is important, but no one dies out there. It’s always good to get some perspective and that helps me with nerves.
Do you have a pre-game ritual?
Before a match, I always do a good warm-up. I want to make sure I’m sweating before I get on the court so that I’m warm and ready as soon as the match starts.
What are 3 things you always have in your tennis bag?
Bobby pins, because you can never have enough of those. My Kindle for during rain delays or when I’m travelling. And SmartWater!
What is your favourite place you’ve travelled to this year?
My favourite city in the world is Rome: I love the food, the people—it’s so beautiful and old. I always try to visit as much as I can. I visit the Vatican almost every single year.
How would you describe your personal style?
The number one thing I think of when I’m getting dressed is, “Okay, I want to be young!” I have this fear of getting old, so I always want to make sure I’m dressing young because I can’t do that forever and I know that. Besides that, I think I’m fashion forward. I love trying the new trends, even if they’re not the sexiest or whatever—I think it’s cool to change things up. You don’t always have to wear skinny jeans; they can be wide legged jeans, things like that. Edgy and simple. You can’t go wrong with plain jeans and a tee, or a tee and a leather jacket.
Who are your favourite designers?
Oh wow, I have a lot. I love Chanel and Vetements. For shoppable clothes, ASOS is great to find missing pieces and build your wardrobe that way. I love Céline as well, for bags as well as shoes. Since I travel so much, I go on my phone a lot and read fashion blogs or shop online. It’s a good way to pass time.
What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
That would have to be sunscreen [for my face]. I don’t wear makeup when I’m on the court because I’m an athlete and I don’t think that’s suitable. I love wearing it when I’m off-court or at events, but for me it’s so important to protect my skin from the sun. Especially as a tennis player, I’m in the sun all the time.
As a professional athlete, how do you motivate yourself to get to that next step?
I think motivation is very key. What I like to think of sometimes if I’m, you know, feeling lazy and I don’t want to go do those sprints, I’ll imagine my ultimate goals: I want to win the Grand Slam [and] lift up a trophy. I think having a picture in your head can help anyone to take those little steps every day to get there.
Do you have a personal mantra?
I always say, “Dream big, work hard.” Have that image in your head and work your ass off to get there.
What is your favourite social media platform? Why?
Definitely Insta. I think it’s more of our generation’s platform, and I like it because you don’t have to write anything. A picture is worth a thousand words, so just post pictures and shut up.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I prefer male body wash to female body wash. I think it cleans better and it doesn’t have those crazy flowery smells I can’t deal with. I like smelling like a man!
The Genie Army is a group of (very) vocal supporters. What’s the craziest fan experience you’ve ever had?
The creation of the Genie Army is incredible. These boys in Melbourne started this kind of worldwide revolution where at every tournament, there’s some form of the Genie Army. Kids have painted their bodies or T-shirts. Obviously marriage proposals are kind of crazy, and I’ve had a couple people ask me to sign body parts. Most of it is so nice, and I just have to remind myself that they support me and it’s actually really nice to have. I love interacting with my fans.
Meet Our Summer 2015 Cover Star Eugenie Bouchard
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