Genie Bouchard is trying hard.
Some wonder if she’s trying too hard. Others admire how hard she’s trying.
In the hot Madrid sun, her practice session Saturday lasted from 2 pm to 4:30 pm, longer than other players. Milos Raonic, by comparison, only practiced for an hour.
Bouchard worked hard. Even though she was exhausted, her coach Sam Sumyk convinced her to take a few more balls.
And even after Sam Stosur’s team kicked Team Bouchard off the court, Bouchard still wasn’t finished.
With a crowd of selfie-hunters waiting, Sumyk made Bouchard chase balls on the side of the court to practice her sliding technique on Madrid’s powdery red clay.
Bouchard’s body language was much better than during her Fed Cup losses in Montreal.
She listened carefully and tried to execute Sumyk’s instructions.
She had a lot on her plate.
Sumyk, his shoulders forward, loomed around her throughout the session as Bouchard outlasted a pair of hitting partners.
While other coaches chill around their practicing players, Sumyk was very attentive to every detail. After nearly every exchange, Sumyk was on her, gesturing a better way to hit groundstrokes.
Bouchard, who normally likes to stand inside the baseline and take balls early, was seen standing a few steps behind the baseline for rallies and returns.
But she seemed to gain confidence later in the session, smacking winners that drew applause from about 50 fans.
Despite a grueling work-out, Bouchard still took the time to sign autographs and smile for selfies.
Even if her losing streak continues, fans at least have to admire Bouchard’s desire to work hard and improve.
(words and images copyright Christopher Johnson Globalite Media, all rights reserved)