Genie def. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) (6) 6-4 6-3
Q. I guess, looking at coming into this match, you must have thought it would have been a real test of where you’re at this time of year. Was that how it turned out?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Definitely, any time you play one of the best players in the world – I think she’s ranked 5 right now – it’s like a standard of where you’re at. Every time I have played a match with Domi, we have had the toughest battles. I had to mentally prepare myself for that.
Q. Your record against her is really good, 4-1 now.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah. I just, you know, fight. Yeah, I have won, I guess, more often than not, but everyone is a really tough battle.
But it’s fun. You know, it’s like a fun grind.
Q. How would you rate that performance, like, say, in terms of level of quality in the last 6 or 12 months? Is that up there?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think it was okay. I mean, I feel like I could play better tennis. I feel at times we both kind of were making unforced errors, but we were also pressuring each other to make mistakes.
I think I served okay. There are things I would have liked to do better. Sorry, I’m still shaking from my ice bath. I’m still freezing.
But overall, it was just me pushing myself and trying to do something on every point that helped me get through.
Q. In that situation where you are quite evenly matched and it’s very hot out there, does it come down to, you know, who’s willing to fight more for it?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah. And, you know, in my head it’s kind of like you have two opponents. You have your opponent and you have the conditions. You know, the person across the net from me is half the battle. Half the battle is the conditions.
The heat was brutal today. I felt like a chicken on the barbie. I hear it’s going to be even hotter tomorrow.
Q. Next up is Pavlyuchenkova. What are your thoughts on that match? Is it good to avoid Kuznetsova, defending champ, or is it a different test in its own way?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, she deserves to be there if she’s still in the tournament and playing tomorrow. She’s probably playing some good tennis right now.
I don’t think I have actually ever played her. Interesting. But it’s always fun to play somebody new. Keep fighting. Keep trying to fight.
Q. Would you describe yourself as “dominant” today?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Dominant, yes (smiling).
Q. I guess the way you played, the MoJo, do you feel it’s coming back to you a bit?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I mean, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m happy that I get another match to keep trying to get better. And, you know, I have taken a couple solid steps this week, but I’m far from where I want to be. Even though I won, to me, I could do a lot of things better. But, yeah, I’m proud of myself for just battling through and just getting through it.
Q. You had a difficult year last year. What have you sort of come into this year thinking you want to see from yourself? How do you approach it?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I really tried to work on specific things in the offseason that I felt I really lacked in 2016, the most important of that being the physical aspect and also constantly having someone with me on the road, which is the plan for me this year.
So there has been a lot of focus on that. And I feel good physically on the court. Even though it is hot, I don’t feel like I’m completely dying inside. I’m partly dying, but not, you know, suffering too much. I feel like I could stay out there as long as I need to.
That actually just gives me confidence and helps me mentally, you know, know that I can be there till the end.
Q. Do you think your strength and conditioning was a bit lax last year?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I definitely think so. The second half of the year was not good enough. The game is so physical, and, you know, the physical aspect can help the mental aspect.
So I feel like that’s been helping me a little bit at the start of the season.
Q. You do look very fit now.
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Thank you.
Q. Yeah, you do. So what specifically was the hardest kind of conditioning stuff that you did in the offseason?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: The goal was to put on muscle, so strength, strength, strength. For me, it was about getting stronger. I want to feel like I can, you know, do whatever I need to do on the court.
So, for me, practice and fitness had to be so much harder than, let’s say, what a match is. Lots of weights and lots of tough drills on the court, as well, which can be kind of conditioning in its own way.
Just over and over again, every day. It can be tough and repetitive and boring, but there is no secret. You know, it’s what you have to do.
Q. You’re back working with Hogstedt now . Is that right? How has it been being reunited with him?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It’s been really good. I’m really happy and grateful that we are working together again. We have great chemistry. So we get along, and, you know, I think he’s one of the best coaches in the world.
He really brings a lot of energy, motivation, and, you know, I feel like he has good vision for my game and really believes in it, as well. I think we make a good team together.
Q. How long were you apart?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, we broke up around April and started again in the offseason this year, this past year.
Q. (Question about temperature, hottest temperature she has played in.)
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think only in Australia. I remember practicing once in Perth a couple years ago and it was 46 degrees, which is insane. You feel like you’re walking into an oven.
But that was just practice, and the match was in a covered, air-conditioned stadium, which we do not have here. (Smiling.)
Yeah, it will just be about doing the right things, staying hydrated, just trying to survive, really.
Q. Going back to Thomas, we don’t always see players reunite or get back together with their coaches. Can you talk through just a little bit about the reasons why things didn’t work out back in April and kind of what it was like kind of putting it all behind you guys and moving on?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, when we were working together for the first time, we actually kind of meshed really well. We really loved working together. We had a great time.
It was just kind of a random mistake and misunderstanding, and, you know, bad decision on my part, bad decision on his part that it ended. I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t because of any of the tennis or, you know, the things we were doing together.
At the end of the year, looking back, I realized he helped me a lot. So, you know, I reached out, and, you know, to my surprise, he was eager and wanted to even though, you know, I was still lowly ranked and he had a great season with another player.
So he literally gave me the confidence that I did know that we both really enjoyed working together. We kind of took off where we left off and put it behind us, and are enjoying it again.
Q. What resonates with you more, like, his belief in your game and his positivity and his energy that’s always been pretty constant with Thomas, or, like, his knowledge, like the tactical awareness of how to get the most out of it?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think both. You know, like I said, I think he’s one of the best out there. You know, I have confidence in that aspect and I listen to what he says, and I’ll do pretty much whatever he says.
But what I like that’s extra special with him is definitely that energy and that positivity, because, you know, it helps. It’s a team effort, you know. It’s tough when you’re out on the court alone. The repetition of practice is tough. So he helps in all those little aspects to help make the team, you know, as good as possible.