Locker room fall trips up Bouchard's progress

NEW YORK • Just when Eugenie Bouchard was starting to pick herself up with the help of eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors, the Canadian slipped and fell in the US Open locker room.

Her fourth-round singles match against Italy's Roberta Vinci this morning (Singapore time) is now in jeopardy following a head injury.

The mishap on Friday has already resulted in her withdrawing from the women's and mixed doubles on the advice of medical staff.

Bouchard was playing alongside Australian Nick Kyrgios in mixed doubles and Russia's Elena Vesnina in women's doubles and had taken special pride on Friday in being the only woman remaining in all three events at the US Open.

"The severity of the injury was and continues to be assessed by the on-site medical personnel at the US Open," US Open tournament director David Brewer said.

"No determination about competing in the singles competition has been made at this time. Bouchard will continue with medical evaluation and treatment."

Bouchard, seeded 25th, is set to face Vinci today in a rematch of their first-round clash at New Haven. Bouchard fell 1-6, 0-6 two weeks ago - which meant she arrived in New York without winning consecutive matches since March.

"I think my loss was kind of a shock to me, a little bit of a wake-up call in a sense I had to get my act together a little bit," Bouchard said after her third-round win over Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova last Friday.

The latest setback has been part of a year of struggles for the 21-year-old, who reached last year's Australian and French Open semi-finals and the Wimbledon final. Yet, it looked like she was just turning the corner with help from Connors, who works as her adviser.

"Working with Jimmy has really given me a different side of things, like a different point of view," she said before her fall. "He's very energetic. He's kind of lifted my spirits a little bit. He believes in me."

Connors, whose last Grand Slam event was the 1992 US Open, made an epic 1991 US Open semi-final run at age of 39. The mental and physical fortitude needed for such a run is something Bouchard needs now.

"He has so much experience. Just hearing his stories and listening to him speak, I respect him so much," she added. "I think he was great mentally when he played. Just the little tips and advice he would give me. The fact that he told me he truly believes in me reminded me, 'Hey, I need to believe in myself as well'."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2015, with the headline 'Locker room fall trips up Bouchard's progress'. Print Edition | Subscribe