For many years, Mylan World TeamTennis has offered top junior players the opportunity to test their games against professionals. One of those beneficiaries was a 15-year-old named Eugenie Bouchard.
Six years ago, the Canadian played a full season for Kansas City alongside the likes of Bob and Mike Bryan and Kveta Peschke before returning to the Mylan WTT scene in 2013. Suiting up for the Texas Wild, Bouchard, Alex Bogomolov, Aisam Qureshi and Darija Jurak represented team chemistry to the fullest en route to a runner-up finish in the Western Conference.
This year, Bouchard is back for more and hopes to help the Boston Lobsters challenge the four-time defending champion Washington Kastles and Philadelphia Freedoms in the East. WTT.com caught up with the world No. 6 to discuss her favorite memories in the league, a typical day in the life of a WTT player and more.
This July, you’ll play your third season of Mylan WTT and first for the Boston Lobsters. How excited are you to be back once again?
I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve always had great experiences with World TeamTennis. I started when I was 15 and it gave me such good experience to play against good players and be on a team with good players as well. I think it helped my game.
Mylan WTT is celebrating its historic 40th season this year. Reflect for us by revealing a favorite memory or funny story with your teammates.
I had a great time in my second season. I played for the Texas Wild and we really took our team name to heart. Something I remember… we got these awesome pajama pants from the World TeamTennis team and we decided to wear them to the airport. We wanted to be a united team, so we were all wearing these matching blue, checkered pajamas. We’d get some funny looks here and there but we thought we had to put up a united front. We took the team spirit seriously, which I think is one of the great aspects of World TeamTennis.
For fans who will be watching you for the first time in July, what should they expect to get out of Genie Bouchard?
I hope some good tennis. I hope they have fun too. With WTT, it’s a more fun atmosphere. We all try our best because it’s a team event. I almost feel more pressure, because I’m playing for my teammates and my owner. It’s so different than an individual event. We’re all really into it, but at the same time, we like to have fun and hope the crowd enjoys it.
Mylan WTT is known for being intense, from the high competition to the travel schedule. Run us through a typical day in the life of a Mylan WTT player.
It definitely is intense. We often travel early in the morning to get to the next city, so that we’d have time to practice. We take it very seriously. We’re practicing to win the match that night. It’s fun at the airport getting to know each other a little bit better. Then we’d get to the next site, practice a little bit, go back and relax, and get ready. We spend the whole match on the bench supporting our teammates or playing ourselves. If you’re on a team with me, and you [hit] a double fault or lose a deuce (deciding) point, then you have to do 10 pushups on the court. I’m going to bring that rule back into effect this year.
How meaningful would it be if you were able to contribute to the Lobsters winning the King Trophy for the first time?
It would mean a lot. Winning the title is a great accomplishment. I think it’s time for the Kastles not to win any more. I’m tired of it, I think everyone is tired of it… no I’m kidding! They’ve been on an amazing win streak, but it makes for an interesting story where everyone wants to challenge them. They have a lot of pressure and we’ll come in as the underdogs. Without anyone really noticing, we’ll just win!
Using just a hashtag, whether it’s a single word or your own creation, how would you sum up Mylan WTT?