Eugenie Bouchard, The New Darling Of Women's Tennis

Patricia Didelot

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard is the new darling of women's tennis, not only because of her looks, but her game, which took her to the Australian Open semifinals were she lost against champion Li Na.

But who is this rising star that everyone is talking about?

The Australian Open saw the usual suspects send off packing in early rounds, giving the opportunity to new, fresh faces to show what they can do. Eugenie Bouchard was one of those players.

Genie, as she is known to her loyal -- mostly male -- fans, who call themselves the "Genie Army" and follow her wearing the white and red to honor her Canadian heritage, reached the semis at the Australian Open -- only the second Canadian woman since Carling Bassett-Seguso did so at the 1984 US Open.

the Genie Army

To get to her first Grand Slam semifinal, she beat veteran 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in just two hours and 24 minutes in the quarterfinal.

In a post-game interview Eugenie Bouchard said:

"We had a tough match, she was playing well at times. When she did there was not much I could do. I kept fighting, played aggressive and stepped it up in the second and third sets. The most important thing is to enjoy it out there and that's what I've been doing. I tried to stay calm and go for my short, that's when I play my best."

Her bid to become the first Canadian woman ever to reach a Grand Slam final came to an end when she faced Chinese player Li Na -- who would go on to win the title -- but that doesn't diminish the importance of what Eugenie Bouchard accomplished in Australia.

Genie's success in the first Grand Slam of the year captivated her fellow Canadians and now they get ready to watch her lead the country's team in the Federation Cup against Serbia.

Eugenie Bouchard was born in Montreal in 1994 and was named after Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's daughter Princess Eugenie. She went pro in 2009 and has had a steady rise to her current No. 19 position in the ATP tour.

Now that Genie is on the map -- so to speak -- many believe she will be the new Maria Sharapova. She is a former Wimbledon Junior Champion (2012) and voted WTA newcomer of the year in 2013.

"She is an incredibly talented athlete, and a very marketable brand ambassador for any company that wants to get involved with her," Stacey Allaster, chief executive of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), tells the BBC business website.

"I do believe that with her winning form and continued success that many brands will look to Genie for partnerships." Allaster added.

Last year Nike asked Maria Sharapova which other WTA player she wanted to wear the clothing line she had designed for the firm, and the Russian chose Eugenie Bouchard.

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