Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard has become the latest player to join the Professional Pickleball Association for the 2023-24 season.
Bouchard is currently ranked No. 215 on the WTA tour and hasn’t confirmed whether she’s retiring from professional tennis upon joining the pickleball circuit. The 29-year-old Montreal native lost in the Wimbledon qualifiers to Greet Minnen in straight sets and withdrew from the French Open earlier this summer without an explanation. More recently, Bouchard lost in three sets during US Open qualifying on Aug. 24 to Dayana Yastremska.
It wasn’t long ago that Bouchard was considered one of the most promising Canadian tennis players ever, reaching a career-high No. 5 ranking in October 2014. A prodigy on the youth tour, Bouchard won the junior Wimbledon title in 2012 and threatened to be a perennial Grand Slam contender. Bouchard is best known for her 2014 Wimbledon run, where she became the first Canadian — men’s or women’s — to reach the final of a major singles tournament, which culminated in a straight sets loss to Petra Kvitová.
Pickleball has become a widely popular sport in recent years. Rather than using a racket, pickleball players use a large paddle on a court that is smaller than regulation tennis dimensions, while the ball doesn’t move as freely as a tennis ball would.
Bouchard is part of a wave of tennis players who are electing to take up pickleball, with Jack Sock and Sam Querrey among other notable names.