Eugenie Bouchard withdraws from another tournament, this one in Monterrey, Mexico

Eh Game
Eugenie Bouchard withdraws from another tournament, this one in Monterrey, Mexico
Eugenie Bouchard withdraws from another tournament, this one in Monterrey, Mexico

The tournament has yet to announce it. But for the second time in three weeks, Genie Bouchard has pulled out of a scheduled tournament at the last minute.

This time, it's a small event in Monterrey, Mexico, where she was scheduled to be the No. 2 seed.

Despite the lack of announcement, the 21-year-old Canadian's name has been stricken from the official entry list. The draw is scheduled to take place on Saturday.

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The only official announcements made by the tournament Friday were the allocation of the wild cards to local players, and the injury withdrawal of Jelena Jankovic.

Jankovic's name, however, had been stricken from the official entry list much earlier in the week.

It's a situation similar to the one that occurred at the much-bigger tournament in Dubai two weeks ago, where Bouchard was announced as having been awarded a wild card into the tournament on Friday – only to have her name absent from the list when the official draw was made less than 24 hours later.

In Dubai, the official reason for withdrawal was an unspecified arm injury, one that may have impacted her performance that week at another event in Antwerp, where she lost her first match to Mona Barthel of Germany. Bouchard was the No. 1 seed and headliner at that event, which was returning to the WTA after a seven-year absence and counted heavily on her presence.

After flying through New York from Antwerp, Bouchard went to Los Angeles, where her Tweets indicate she has at least been getting in some off-court training on the beach. New coach Sam Sumyk is based in Newport Beach, Calif.

Her twin sister Beatrice flew out so they could celebrate their joint 21st birthday on Wednesday; Bouchard also attended a Los Angeles Lakers NBA game earlier in the week.

The first indication that Bouchard might not be heading to Monterry came Friday, when she posted photos of a visit to the set of the Big Bang Theory television show, which stars one of her biggest fans, Jim Parsons.

 

The tennis star and her celebrity fan get together on the set of the Big Bang Theory Friday. (Instagram)
The tennis star and her celebrity fan get together on the set of the Big Bang Theory Friday. (Instagram)

The temperature in Monterrey is scheduled to warm up significantly over the conditions in Los Angeles this week. As well, the altitude there takes some adjustment. And Bouchard has played little tennis this season.

And unlike Antwerp, where the Canadian had a first-round bye and didn't even play that first match against Barthel until Thursday night, Monterrey has a full 32-player draw with no byes.

The Monterrey event suffered a similar last-minute withdrawal – but obviously one with significantly more impact – when Serena Williams was a late scratch three years ago.

These smaller events depend on the few marquee-type players on the WTA Tour to sell tickets, so Bouchard's absence is a blow even if defending champion Ana Ivanovic is still scheduled to be there.

But in this case, there is more at stake. The normal prize money level for an International-level tournament is $250,000; Monterrey, which was supposed to have two top-10 players in Bouchard and Ivanovic,had to double its prize money to $500,000 as a result.

And now, of course, it only has one left.

Bouchard is accumulating a bit of a resumé in terms of late no-shows. The first one of note came at a small event in Washington, D.C. last July, where she was scheduled to be the headliner (it was a tournament owned by her now-former management company, Lagardère, one that had offered her main-draw wild cards long before she broke through to the top levels of the game).

Next came the infamous mess in Hong Kong, a first-year event that had used Bouchard heavily in its promotional campaign in which she had agreed to play, but only with a wild card. She pulled out of that event which took place right after the U.S. Open – or never officially entered it, depending on how you look at it – very late as well.

In the fall, after qualifying for the WTA Tour Finals at a tournament in Asia, she flew to Linz, Austria for a small event at which she also was a marquee attraction. Bouchard fulfilled her commitment by playing one match, winning the match, then withdrawing.

Most recently, it was the event in Dubai.

Injuries are injuries; no player is immune to them. The nature and severity of Bouchard's arm injury remains unknown.

An e-mail by Eh Game to agent Jill Smoller sent back on Monday, inquiring whether Bouchard would indeed be playing in Monterrey, received no response.

Also of concern is Bouchard's abject lack of match play so far in 2015. She reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open; that was five matches. Since then, the Canadian has played only one match. With the top-level events in Indian Wells and Miami coming in the next month, that is far from ideal.

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