Eugenie Bouchard, the Devonshire Park-bound Canadian ace, returns to grass at the new Mallorca Open in Spain.
The 2014 Wimbledon runner-up will be aiming to do better than her last grass court tournament, losing on the opening day at the Ricoh Open in the Netherlands.
She was broken six times to Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens last Monday at ‘S-Hertogenbosch. And although she had settled for twice finishing runner-up this term, the defeat in Holland followed her 2nd Round exit at last month’s French Open.
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Bouchard on the practise courts
Roland Garros winner Garbine Muguruza of Spain is the top seed, with Serbian former world ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic also vying to win the inaugural Mallorca Open.
Jankovic, the #2 seed, has a tough opening match against 18-year-old Croatian Ana Konjuh who won the 2015 Nottingham Open title.
The Mallorca Open is testament to the Spanish, who have honed their best players on clay courts. Yet Mallorca’s most famous player, Rafael Nadal, has thrived on the grass at Wimbledon on the last and obviously the nation wants to broaden its horizons.
As well as being named the Mallorca Open, the champion will win the Toni Nadal Trophy – the coach and uncle to Rafael.
Yet there can only be one winner from the star-studded 32-player main draw, although the Spanish island will also be hoping that the annual pre-Wimbledon event becomes a winner with fans and players alike for years to come.
And Bouchard, who is among the top 10 highest paid international female athletes according to Forbes, was the belle of the ball at the pre-tournament party to celebrate the first ever grass court tournament in Mallorca.