What's buzzing:

The Eh Game

Eugenie Bouchard advances at Australian Open

Stephanie Myles
Eh Game

View gallery

.

Genie Bouchard's Army helped her to victory Monday (Stephanie Myles)

MELBOURNE – If you have your own army, you can move mountains - and even win a tennis match on a hot day when you're feeling a little sluggish.

With the help of a self-help group calling themselves "Genie's Army," Montrealer Eugenie Bouchard overcame a slow start to advance to the Australian Open's second round with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Chinese wild-card Hao Chen Tang Monday.

Click here for a photo slideshow - and catch Genie's Army in action

"It's always tough to play the first round of any tournament, especially a Grand Slam, so happy I got through that," said Bouchard, who appreciated the support from her young male fans and the atmosphere they brought to distant Court 15 – about as far away as you can get from the stadium court at the Australian Open, Rod Laver Arena, and still actually be on the grounds.

"There was a decent seating section on the side. It's out of my control. It was a first-round amtch, so i can't really expect anything," Bouchard added. "Hopefully I'll be on a good court in my next round. But it was a good court in the end."

The Army – who came prepared with T-shirts spelling out Bouchard's first name (with a sixth fellow pulling up the rear as the exclamation point), songs with a Genie theme, and plenty of technical advice from the sidelines – weren't even Canadian even though Bouchard did also have the support of some true Canucks.

View gallery

.

Bouchard looked for any little sliver of shade in the first set. (Stephanie Myles)

The Army men were like many in the 19-year-old's growing legion of fans – local lads who, in their own words, "think she's hot, mate."

The day was hot, too. And in the first set, with her less-accomplished opponent cracking the ball and the sun cracking atop her head, Bouchard was multiplying the unforced errors and seeking brief respite after nearly every point in the narrow, foot-wide crack near the court's back fence that offered the only available shade.

Tang served for the first set. But then Bouchard got going. And once she won the first set, there was no stopping her.

Suddenly, the heat that had her bellying up to the fence for the better part of an hour no longer was a problem.

Amazing how often that's the case, isn't it?

"I didn't underestimate her at all. She was coming up with good shots. I wasn't surprised. I was expecting a tough match and it was definitely tough," Bouchard said. "I obviously didn't play at the level I wanted to. but I got through it, I fought, and I got better in the second set."

View gallery

.

Bouchard was victorious, but it wasn't easy. (Stephanie Myles)

Bouchard stayed and autographed all of the boys' shirts and posed for pics with them.

The Army got so excited about the Canadian, they even stopped by fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil's first-round match later in the day.

The boys were definitely smitten, thus guaranteeing Bouchard would carry over her cheering section into her second-round match against French veteran Virginie Razzano – another player she has never met on court, but one against whom she has at least practiced.

"See you Wednesday," Genie's Army said.

Related story: Vasek Pospisil advances to the second round in Australia

View Comments (0)
  • Bradley Late Foul

    Bradley Late Foul

    Avery Bradley fouls Khris Middleton following the inbound pass late in the fourth. … More »

    NBA.com - 15 minutes ago
  • No. 22 Kentucky has it easy against Georgia in an 82-48 rout

    No. 22 Kentucky has it easy against Georgia in an 82-48 rout

    Kentucky usually found the basket, while Georgia often emerged frustrated when it shot. Jamal Murray scored 24 points, Tyler Ulis added 14 and Kentucky held Georgia to a season-low 22 percent shooting to coast to an 82-48 victory Tuesday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
  • Jazz vs. Mavericks

    Jazz vs. Mavericks

    Gordon Hayward hit the winning jumper at the buzzer in overtime after Rodney Hood's tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, and the Jazz extend their season-best winning streak to seven games with a 121-119 victory over the Mavericks. … More »

    NBA.com - 18 minutes ago
  • Flames coach Hartley sends message to team by scratching Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

    Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley sent a strong message to three of his key players Tuesday night that team rules apply to everyone. Hartley would not confirm which team rule was broken but all three were spotted late arriving to the arena for … More »

    The Canadian Press - 20 minutes ago
  • Bayless Late Foul

    Bayless Late Foul

    Jerryd Bayless commits a costly foul on Kelly Olynyk late in the game. … More »

    NBA.com - 21 minutes ago