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Laura Robson and Eugenie Bouchard: Two friends determined to take on the world

FEATURED COLUMNIST
Editor's Pick
29 Jun 2013, 10:45 IST

Laura Robson (L) and Eugenie Bouchard

Watching Laura Robson and Eugenie Bouchard’s self-made Gangnam Style video gives one a slight peek into the amazing self-assurance of two 18-year-old girls trying to make their foray into popular culture in their own, indigenous style. The video made in Beijing in 2012 notched up a humongous number of Youtube views, and both Laura and Eugenie got rave reviews for their superb efforts.

If the video did portray anything more, then it surely gave an indication to how carefree, audacious and eager these teenagers are as they take the arduous road to fame and glory. Now 19, both Laura and Eugenie (adorably called Genie) are at the helm of their country’s rankings and their video perhaps is a microcosm representing their insatiable hunger to break into the world of big girls in their own, independent way. Independence has been a key element to their success as the British No. 1 points out, “I think I have had to grow up quite fast, even when I was really young.”

Perhaps that is what aided Robson and her best buddy, Bouchard to attain maturity so swiftly. Touring around the world and living a life of their own, these precocious talents grew up fast and today when they remain toe-to-toe with the established superstars, it represents the years of dedication, perseverance and sacrifices they have made to reach there.

Bouchard’s family has had to shuttle between her native Montreal and Florida to continue with her training and the teen had to opt for distance education. She knows she misses out on the simple fun of a teenager’s life but never bemoans it. Her twin sister, Beatrice indulges in her school life and Eugenie nonchalantly underlines, “Sometimes I see her and I want her life, but not too often. The life I’m living is special, exceptional.”

It is this belief that encourages these two girls who first met at the tender age of nine, to continue in their journey to the pinnacle. The two have been the best chums on the tour since then and each has brought laurels to their respective nations as a fledgling talent waiting to soar.

Even there, their paths have revealed similarities. The two belong to two nations who are vigorously searching for the voice amongst the cacophony, the leader amongst the chaos. Both Great Britain and Canada have endured long waits, Canada though even longer, for the tennis heroine they can look up to.

Laura Robson

When Laura made her Grand Slam breakthrough in junior Wimbledon in 2008 and became the first British player to win it since Annabel Croft in 1984, it did give a ray of hope to a Slam-starved nation. Her feat was oft talked about and needless to say, the burden of expectations was soon imposed on her. Even though her talent was never to be denied, she followed it up with the winding road that included reaching two other junior Australian Open finals, changing coaches and finally arriving on the big scene in 2012.

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