Canadian social media favorite Genie Bouchard saw her chance of a first WTA title since 2014 slip away as she lost to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets in the final of the Guadalajara Open in Mexico.
Chasing a first title since she won the Nuremberg Cup in Germany seven years ago, Bouchard instead suffered defeat for the seventh time in eight appearances in WTA finals.
The Canadian 27-year-old surrendered 6-2, 7-5 to her rival, letting slip a way back into the match when she was 5-3 up in the second set but went on to lose the next four games.
“That was super frustrating,” former Wimbledon finalist Bouchard said afterwards, according to CBC.
“I felt like I was playing 12-and-under tennis at some points there. I don’t know. She was just out-grinding me. I shouldn’t have lost four games in a row like that at the end. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do.”
For Tormo, 24, it was a maiden WTA title as the world number 71 outgunned her big-hitting rival.
Bouchard is set to rise to the world number 116 spot despite more disappointment in a final.
The Canadian was once ranked as high as fifth in the world after bursting onto the senior scene and reaching the Wimbledon final in 2014 as well as the semi-finals of the French and Australian Opens the same year.
However, she has since plummeted down the charts, falling as low as 332nd in the world last March before showing signs of an uptick in form following the resumption of action after the Covid-enforced hiatus.
Bouchard lost in the final of the Istanbul Cup to Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig last September, but failed to build immediate momentum from that and didn’t emerge through qualifying for the Australian Open.
Her latest run will at least give renewed cause for optimism as she competes in the Monterrey Open, where she meets Zhu Lin in a Round of 32 match on Monday.
In recent weeks Bouchard has trumpeted a ‘new chapter’ in her career after leaving sponsors Nike for a deal with New Balance.
Former Sports Illustrated swimsuit star Bouchard boasts 2.1 million followers on Instagram and is one of tennis’s biggest social media hitters, but parted ways with Nike after reportedly being on a performance-based deal.
Bouchard has previously dismissed the notion that she has merely become an Instagram model, saying last August: “I can go running for eight hours then go to dinner and post a selfie and people think I just went to dinner.
“People need to realize it’s only what people choose to show, that’s what’s out there.
“I really try to refrain from posting bikini pictures. I really do. I’m trying my best…Apparently if you post that it means you don’t play tennis or something. It’s influenced a little bit how I act.”