Two years ago, Genie Bouchard suffered a painful US Open fall behind closed doors.
The former world No. 5 has yet to regain her footing on court in Flushing Meadows.
Bouchard conceded she’s a bit spooked by “bad memories” from the site of her major stumble after falling to Evgeniya Rodina, 7-6 (2), 6-1 in today’s first-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I’m able to concentrate on the tennis when I’m here, but, I mean, I definitely have bad memories from here two years ago,” Bouchard told the media after her opening-round exit.
In September of 2015, Bouchard fell in the US Open locker room suffering a concussion that forced her out of the tournament prior to her fourth-round match with Roberta Vinci, who went on to reach the final.
Bouchard subsequently sued the USTA for unspecified damages alleging that her fall was caused by a “slippery substance” on the tile floor of the training room.
That lawsuit is still pending.
“Yeah, we’re still in the process,” Bouchard said of her negligence suit against the USTA.
The rift between the two sides deepened earlier this spring when Bouchard’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, charged the USTA with “knowingly and willfully” destroying security camera video footage that he claims could support his client’s claim of negligence in the case.
In a filing with New York Eastern District court, Genie’s attorney requested that the court “find defendants knowingly and willfully destroyed security camera footage relevant to the plaintiff’s claims in this case, despite having been notified well in advance to preserve such evidence.”
Since suffering that concussion, the 2014 Wimbledon finalist has contested eight Grand Slams and failed to survive the second round in six of them.
Bouchard seemed to be getting back on track when she defeated former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova and then top-ranked Angelique Kerber back-to-back in reaching the Madrid quarterfinals in May.
However, since then she’s slumped to a 4-9 record, including first-round exits in Mallorca, Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Toronto and now New York.
That recent spiral didn’t exactly leave the former Australian Open semifinalist beaming with confidence as she stepped on a sun-soaked Ashe Stadium today.
“My confidence is not high at all at this point in time, and I definitely had question marks about what my level would be like coming out today,” Bouchard said.