MONTREAL – Eugenie Bouchard has confirmed that she will represent Canada at the Rio Olympics, putting to rest any doubts about the participation of the country’s top-ranked women’s tennis player.
The 22-year-old Westmount, Que., native announced she is heading to Rio when talking to reporters in advance of the Rogers Cup.
“I put a lot of time into my decision. Finally, I said that I wanted to go but I will take all precautions necessary.”
“I thought that I would maybe have two or three chances to participate at the Olympics during my career. I know that it would have been really difficult to stay at home and watch the Olympics on TV, to not be there and not play. I know that it’s better for me to play and I feel good with my decision.”
Bouchard was named to the Olympic team by Tennis Canada, but had said she would wait until “the last minute” to decide whether she would accept the spot. She had expressed concerns about the Zika virus and safety in Rio.
Bouchard has seen fellow Canadian Milos Raonic and other high-profile tennis players and golfers pull out and conceded that has made her think.
“It’s a decision that I had to take really seriously,” she said. “I talked with people close to me, my family, my doctors for sure, people that I knew who have already gone to Rio this year and also with people who are trying to learn more about the virus.
“The most important thing is to have the most information possible and, like I said, to take the precautions necessary and to keep your fingers crossed.”
Canada will be missing its top men’s player in Rio after Raonic announced he was skipping the event due to health concerns.
Bouchard will play in women’s singles and doubles with Gabriela Dabrowski. Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor will join Bouchard and Dabrowski in Rio for men’s competition.
Bouchard opens the Rogers Cup on Tuesday afternoon against Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, who is ranked 28th in the world. Bouchard said it was her decision to play under the sun rather than a night draw.