Paris: Tennis golden girl Eugenie Bouchard admitted yesterday that she has battled an eating disorder which caused alarming weight loss as she attempted to put her high-flying career back on track.
The 22-year-old Canadian became one of the WTA’s most bankable assets in 2014 when she stormed to the Wimbledon final as well as the semi-finals of the Australian and French Opens. But the confident, charismatic blonde then saw her career dive into a tailspin in 2015.
First round exits in Paris and Wimbledon were followed by a freak fall in the showers at the US Open which saw her play just one more match in the season until the start of 2016.
“I felt a lot of pressure and kind of this expectation if you win a match it’s normal and if you lose it’s a disaster,” said Bouchard at Roland Garros yesterday. “Before matches I was very nervous and definitely had trouble eating. I just felt like it would come right back up. It’s a difficulty I went through. And not just before matches, it happened to me at other meals as well.”
Bouchard denied that she had been trying to lose weight on purpose as a way of sharpening and toning her body image.
Even these days, she still faces the prospect of having to force herself to eat.
“I was just so stressed I was burning calories even more than I normally would, so it was hard to kind of intake enough to keep my weight up or even gain weight, which was the goal, to become stronger.”
Bouchard, now at 47 in the world, made the Roland Garros second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Germany’s Laura Siegemund.