Eugenie Bouchard Wimbledon 2015
Eugenie Bouchard continues to struggle to find the form of 2014Reuters

The world was her proverbial oyster after a wonderfully successful 2014 for Eugenie Bouchard, with 2015 looking like the year where she will turn those near-misses into Grand Slams titles.

Compared to Maria Sharapova – for looks and ability – Bouchard is seen as the next pinup girl in tennis – if she already isn't that is -- someone to admire, root for and also bring in the big bucks.

A quarterfinal appearance in the Australian Open was a good start, with the 21-year-old, who reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and French Open, along with an appearance in the final of the most important Grand Slam – Wimbledon – in 2014, looking primed to slug it out with the likes of Serena Williams and Sharapova for major titles.

However, since that Australian Open quarterfinal exit, Bouchard has suffered eight first round losses, with the latest one, one that will hurt the most – a 7-6 (6-3), 6-4 loss to Duan Yingying, a qualifier ranked 117 in the world.

"It has kind of been a stressful time, these big tournaments that everyone was talking about to me," Bouchard said. "I definitely felt tight in the first set. But I also felt very unprepared for this match.

"That's unfortunate. But I wanted to play, no matter what. It's just been a lot of learning. I'm always trying to keep the belief and stay true to myself and do what I need to do to become as good as I know I can be.

"I've just learned about this world I'm in, being an athlete, the struggles."

Bouchard's struggles in the first round can also be attributed to injury, with the Canadian revealing she played with a stomach problem, and the only reason she went ahead with the match was because it was Wimbledon.

"I have a grade two tear in my ab," Bouchard revealed. "Probably wouldn't have been smart to play here, but I couldn't pass on Wimbledon. So I did kind of minimal preparation to save myself for the match.

"I was trying not to think about it. But I just haven't practiced that much. So I felt my timing was very off.

"I'm disappointed because I lost. And it was probably not the smartest decision."

Bouchard must now find that desire and ability-to-perform-under-pressure if she is to emulate someone like Sharapova. Otherwise, a few years from now, the youngster might just be remembered as another one of those Anna Kournikova-like players, who promised so much but failed to deliver when it mattered most – and there have been plenty of them in the last decade.

Also read