Wimbledon 2014: Eugenie Bouchard wins over the fans despite her final defeat

Canadian reveals she felt humbled by the 'special support from the crowd'

Wimbledon

It had looked so promising for Eugenie Bouchard, the young Canadian hopeful who rose from relative obscurity to become one of the greatest draws at this year's Wimbledon tournament.

But as the sun disappeared behind grey clouds on centre court, so too did the dreams of the steely-gazed 20-year-old who lost out to her Czech rival Petra Kvitova in the women's finals.

Kvitova, 24, a former Wimbledon champion who is currently ranked world No 4, threw herself to the ground in jubilation after trouncing her opponent in a match watched on from the Royal box by Bouchard's namesake Princess Eugenie, Keira Knightley and last year's winner Marion Bartoli.

As she finally broke a smile, Kvitoka's expression was in stark contrast to her pained frown as she received a pep talk from her trainer at the practice courts earlier in the day, while Bouchard warmed up just metres away, looking confident and positively cheery.

Bouchard's game face had gone though as the player named after the British Princess gave her post-match press conference. “Sometimes your opponent just plays better than you, and that's what happened today.

“I am always hard on myself, maybe a bit too hard,” she said, reflecting on the moment she went to wait in the engraver's room between leaving court when the match finished, and going back to face the crowd. “I sat down put on my jacket... wished one day they would be writing my name.”

It was “crazy” to see the Royals turn out for her big game, added Bouchard, whose sister is named Beatrice and brother, Will, both after members of the monarchy: “I'm very happy that she came, I'm just disappointed I couldn't have put on a better show for her.”

Once she had lay down on her sofa for a week back home in Montreal, Boucher said she would be back to training.

Dressed in a red Canada T-shirt, Jeremy Greenberg, 27, from Toronto, was undeterred after watching the match: “I am totally in love with Eugenie. She is a national hero.”

After rising from ranking number 105 to number seven over the course of the match, Bouchard became the undoubted star of the women's tournament. She said she felt “humbled” by the “special support from the crowd” during the final, whose cries could be hear above the those of the court attendants who spent much of the day pulling rain covers back and forth over the courts as bursts of rain and sunshine kept revellers at Wimbledon on their toes.

As well as her formidable game and - before today, at least - an unshakable sense of self-belief, the determined young player also drew attention off-court for a public spat with former best friend Laura Robson, after telling a press conference on Friday that she had no friends on tour.

While the British player was absence at this year's tournament due to injury, Bouchard confirmed their friendship was over. She added: “I don't think the tennis tour is the place to have friends. For me it's all competition”.

Speculation was rife over the reason for the cooling of a close bond between the pair who famously made a Gangnam Style tribute video together in 2012, after Bouchard told a press conference: “I'm sure you guys can figure that one”.

Fingers pointed to a potential conflict over Nick Saviano, who Robson appointed as her coach last autumn while he was already working with Bouchard. At a post-match conference the Canadian said she had spoken to her coach since her defeat: “He said he was very proud of me, today and through the whole tournament.”

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent