WESTMOUNT – Physical education teacher Jeff Kosow will tell you he’s taught many outstanding students at Westmount High School, but from the start, he knew that Eugenie Bouchard was special.
On Monday, he was praising the 19-year-old’s accomplishments to his current students.
“I know it’s a cliche,” Kosow told Global News.
“If you pursue your dream, and work hard, and do things right, good things will happen.”
Good things certainly have been happening for the Westmount native at the 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament.
She’s advanced to the semi-finals of the Grand Slam event, becoming the first Canadian to ever reach the semifinals of this grand slam event and the first Canadian in 30 years to reach the semis of any of the four grand slam tournaments.
Zdenek Bukal was one of Bouchard’s first coaches.
He began teaching her at age six at the Nun’s Island Tennis Centre.
“One thing she has that sets her apart is intelligence, tennis intelligence,” Bukal said.
“Can she win a Grand Slam one day? The answer is yes.”
Bruce Stacey, the sports coordinator at the City of Westmount, remembered seeing the young girl practice at Murray Hill Park.
Bouchard grew up on nearby Forden Avenue.
Even at a young age, Stacey knew Bouchard had unique, raw talent.
“I do remember the ball always going over the net, and for someone at that age, that was something I could not do,” he recalled.
Eugenie Bouchard became a household name in the summer of 2012, after she captured the junior title at the prestigious Wimbledon tournament.
Last November, she was named the 2013 Women’s Tennis Association’s Newcomer of the Year.