Perth, Jan 3 (IANS)
World No.7 Eugenie Bouchard is confident her upcoming Hopman Cup appearance will give her the best chance for Grand Slam glory at the Australian Open.
Bouchard enjoyed a breakout year after making her Hopman Cup debut last summer. The 20-year-old reached the semi-finals of both the Australian Open and French Open, before making a dream run to the Wimbledon final, reports news.com.au.
Bouchard will take on World No.1 Serena Williams, World No.16 Lucie Safarova and World No.12 Flavia Pennetta at the Hopman Cup and she's optimistic the mixed teams event will leave her primed to make an all-out assault at the Australian Open.
"I had some good preparation matches here in Perth last year. It's a fun and still intense kind of competitive way to get into things," Bouchard said.
"And with the court surface being the same, the balls the same, and even the arena is similar to Rod Laver in Melbourne - I think it prepares you well and that's what I felt last year. It's one of the reasons I came back."
Bouchard was beaten 3-6, 0-6 by Petra Kvitova in the Wimbledon final last year. The Canadian glamour girl feels the experience will leave her better placed for future finals and she's desperate to taste Grand Slam glory in the near future.
"I always believed in myself that I could achieve things like that and I want to achieve even more - I want to win a Grand Slam," Bouchard said.
"I played one final, so hopefully if I can get into another final I will have the experience of Wimbledon from this past year to draw on."
After enjoying a breakout year in 2014, Bouchard embarked on a holiday of a different kind - a two-day trip to the Arctic to raise awareness about the plight of polar bears.
"For me to wake up and put on four layers of pants instead of a T-shirt and shorts to go play tennis, it's such a different life for me. I really enjoyed it," she said.
Bouchard will team up with Vasek Pospisil at the Hopman Cup, with their first assignment against Czech pair Lucie Safarova and Adam Pavlasek on Sunday.