Tennis' Nick Saviano Recalls WTA Eugenie Bouchard's Rise to Stardom

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Described by tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, as being on the "fast-track to tennis stardom," Eugenie Bouchard's skill, athleticism and immense commitment can be best recounted by childhood tennis coach, Nick Saviano.

Nick Saviano Eugenie Bouchard WTA Tennis Player Throughout the years
Genie has always been extremely hard-working, and had the athleticism and the ability to be a top 10 player from an early age, recalls Coach Nick Saviano.

Meet Eugenie Bouchard. She won the singles and doubles titles at Junior Wimbledon last June at age 18 and has already soared to No.58 in the world in 2013 with impressive results during her first full season on the WTA Tour. Internationally respected tennis coach, Nick Saviano, can recall Bouchard improving quickly, constantly requiring the coaches at Saviano High Performance Tennis to accelerate her program and find better players with whom to hit. Genie's immense skill and commitment were signs shown early that would quickly lead to her rise to success.

Her game has been called "aggressive," "tailor-made for the WTA," with long-term championship capability. Her ambition is obvious and so is her dollar-mark to a marketing firm. She sports a long and lean frame, bright smile and golden locks. In fact she has already landed modeling gigs alongside her icon, Maria Sharapova. But perhaps the most glamorous description that would suit Genie came from legendary star, Martina Navratilova, who has described her as a “potential Grand Slam champion.”

“All of the kids, including my sister, loved the [tennis] games, except me. I hated them, because I just wanted to hit more balls and actually play tennis," Eugenie recalls. “My parents realized how much I actually loved playing and eventually allowed me to play three times a week with private lessons."

“Genie had this competitive streak and was never satisfied, she just always wanted to hit more balls,” said her mother, Julie Bouchard. The first signs of her special talent were seen at 9, when she won a qualifying event in Montreal which earned her placement into a 12-and-under tournament in France.

At that point, Eugenie was traveling around the world competing and met British player Laura Robson, who today at 19 has vaulted to No.32 in the world and has remained one of Genie's closest friends. Robson’s mother had recommended a reputable high performance tennis institute in Plantation, Florida where her daughter had trained, run by former American ATP player Nick Saviano.

When Bouchard was 12, she moved to Florida to train full time. At Saviano Tennis, she would often train with young girls her age who were also coached to be on course for the WTA Tour, such as Mallory Burdette, who is today ranked No.80 on tour and world No.15 Sloane Stephens. “They pushed each other to get better – you don’t get that many talented kids together at the same time very often,” Saviano said. “Genie has always been extremely hard-working, and my perspective is that she had the athleticism and the ability to be a top 10 player, so it’s up to her to continue with her immense commitment and the guidance and support she has received.”

Seeing the success of Laura Robson, Sloane Stephens, Monica Puig, Eugenie Bouchard and Mallory Burdette - some of Saviano's former students/graduates - some of whom continue to frequent SHPT training with Nick - bears the ultimate joy a Coach can have. To have an influential hand with some of the WTA's brightest stars in the game today not only highlights Saviano's already respected credentials, but demonstrates how training against colleagues and competition can positively affect the entire group to succeed.

The week Sloane Stephens upset four-time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova at the Western & Southern Open 2-6, 7-6, 6-3. Eugenie Bouchard defeated former SHPT student, Monica Puig in the first round at the same event, but fell to top-seed Serena Williams in three sets.

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Marlena Hall
Lion and Hare, LLC
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