Genie def. Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 6-4 2-6 6-3
Q. Reading your Twitter and Facebook timelines, I think it’s fair to say that you like Rome. Does it help you, you and your tennis, being at a place you actually love?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I really do love Rome. I always go see as much of the city as I can while I’m here. The last couple years, unfortunately because I lost so early, I had a lot of time. So I have been everywhere, I have seen everything, and I have already been to a couple of places this year because I got here early.
I mean, it just makes me happy to be here, for sure. I think it’s hard to say like what’s No. 1, but I think it’s pretty much my favorite city to be in. Yeah, just makes me happy.
Q. After your victory and after these last difficult months for you, could you say at what point where you are in terms of your technical and personal recovery?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think I’m still on that journey of trying to, you know, be the best player I can be. I feel like I have been working hard every single day, and I feel like I have good guidance, I’m on the right path.
So I think it’s just making sure I still continue to believe in myself, and, you know, trusting that if I do all the right things, if I work hard, if I have the talent, if I have good guidance, you know, one day it has to come.
Q. Your history, even after last year’s Open, personal ups and downs became very public. And even Vika Azarenka spoke about difficult feelings in certain period of her life and career. You are considered a super athlete. Effectively we could say that you…
THE MODERATOR: Slow down.
Q. You are considered a super athlete, a sort of icon. But even you are effectively normal people face ups and downs in your life. Could you explain, if it’s real, why it happen to you in these last months?
THE MODERATOR: Why you have had ups and downs, even though you’re an icon.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, ups and downs happen to everyone in life, no matter who you are or what you do in life. For me and my career, which is tennis, you know, I have learned a lot. I have learned more on those down moments than I have when things have been going well.
So I’m grateful for those lessons that I learned. I think I’ll become a better player and person because of it.
You know, it’s about being positive in those tough moments and having people around you that truly believe in you, not just the people who are there when you win but the people who are there when you lose and you’re not doing well. Those are the people around you you want to support you. And I have that, and I, you know, continue to believe in myself. Just gotta stay positive.
Q. You made a tribute to Kobe on Twitter.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I’m wearing his shoes.
Q. Like a classic dancer? You was like a classic dancer dress?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Did you say dancer? Yeah, no, no chance.
Q. Not in your life?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: No.
Q. You are social. You made record five minutes, I read, and the fans here in Rome, you are social but you never your official site. Why? You prefer Twitter?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I think these days it’s all about social media, you know. I think it’s cool to be able to interact directly with fans. That’s what I use the most.
I do want to make a side note I haven’t been able to go on Instagram in like a week because I lost my phone, and if you try to log on a friend’s phone or a computer, it sends a verification code to your phone number which I don’t have. So it’s been a cleansing detox.
I literally have not been on Instagram in a week, so you can imagine, as a 22-year-old, how tough that is. Not having my phone is just like unbelievable.
I think it’s supposed to arrive today, though, when I go back to the hotel. Please cross your fingers for me. Hopefully it’s there. I will be posting lots of selfies as soon as I get it. No, I’m kidding. Well, I’m not kidding, but… (Laughter.)
Q. What has changed with Saviano? You feel more confidence or you simply feel better physically?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: He’s actually, like his ancestors are Italian, so that’s cool. I have that comfort factor with him. I have known him since I was 12. He knows me so well as a person and as a player.
You know, I like his mentality, and I like, you know, how he sees the game of tennis and how he sees my game in it.
I think I’m on the right path with him. You know, we kind of started again where we left off, so it was very easy to get back into it.
Q. Sorry to be boring and talk about the match, but not an easy first-round draw against JJ. She plays well on this surface. Can you talk about how the match played out for you and how you think you were able to pull it out?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I knew it would be a tough battle. I have played her a couple of times before, and, you know, she gets a lot of balls back. She’s tough. She stays with you. I just had to keep being tough.
You know, I realized that she started controlling too many points, so in the third set I decided no matter what, you know, even if I make a couple more mistakes I need to step in and go for it. I think that made the difference.
A couple of times I definitely felt like I lost my focus a little bit in the second set and then also up 3-Love in the third. But those things happen. And, yeah, it was definitely tough conditions, as well. It was a little bit windy. We were getting clay in our eyes all the time. It was actually very tough. But it was fun.
Q. Next match I think you’ve got Angie, right? I’m a little curious as to whether you, at this point, do you feel at all like a hunter? For a while there you were kind of the hunted a little bit. Or do you feel like there isn’t really a label on where you’re at right now? How much do you get up for a match like you have next?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I don’t think about putting a label on it, but I do feel different coming into this year than I have, for example, last year. I feel like it’s my first year on tour again. I think I have said this a couple times this year. I feel like it’s 2013 again where I’m playing all these tournaments almost for the first time and obviously not expected to win these matches.
So it’s been an interesting experience kind of going back to that, and refreshing, as well, and challenging, as well. I play seeds early on. I go and play smaller tournaments. It’s a different lifestyle for me. But I’m grinding and I truly love that. I see it as a challenge.
But, yeah, no, I play against the top players, and, you know, it’s refreshing to not have that target on your back as much. For sure it’s always there, but to me I kind of try to see it as, okay, I’m the underdog and I want to see what I can do.