On Sunday, Eugenie Bouchard announced that, after much thought, she has decided to play in the Olympic Games in Rio.
Last week in Washington, the 22-year-old said that she had not yet made a decision given the risks related to Zika virus.
“I took a bit of time before making a decision because I had concerns,” she said on Sunday at her first press conference as part of this year’s Rogers Cup. “I had concerns for my health and also about security in general. But now, I know that I really want to go and I will take all the necessary precautions.”
She went on to add: “I just want to feel good when I’m there. I want to be sure that I don’t have any concerns so that I can focus only on tennis.”
Bouchard, who is currently ranked world no.41, will play in singles and in doubles with Gabriela Dabrowski at the Olympic tennis event, which will be held from August 6 to 14. Like Bouchard, Dabrowski, who is ranked no.44 in doubles, will be playing in her first Games.
“I figured that I maybe had only two or three chances to participate in the Olympic Games in my career,” said Bouchard. “I also thought it would be very difficult to be at home and watch the Olympics on television without being there. I know that it’s better for me to play. I feel good about my decision.”
The Quebecer, who will face world no.28 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the first round of Rogers Cup on Tuesday afternoon, admitted that she didn’t see the tournament in Montréal as preparation for Rio. In her mind, the two events are completely separate.
“First, I want to do as well as I can here this week. I’m taking it one week at a time, one day at a time,” she affirmed. “I’ve made my decision but I won’t be thinking about the Olympics until I’m in the plane.”