KEY BISCAYNE – Genie Bouchard’s run of entries into smaller tournaments continues, as the organizers of the Nürnburger Versicherungscup 2017 have confirmed her presence in May.
(That’s the Google Translated version of the German tournament’s website above; cheeky).
Bouchard is playing Monterrey the week after Miami, and Istanbul the final week of April; Istanbul takes place the same week as the glamorous WTA indoor clay tournament in Stuttgart, Germany where Maria Sharapova is set to make her return to action after serving a 15-month suspension for a positive doping test.
There is no chance Bouchard could get into Stuttgart without a wild card (and there was no chance of that happening). The last player entered right now stands at No. 33, more than 20 spots higher than Bouchard’s ranking at the deadline.
Nürnberg takes place the week right before the French Open; Bouchard won her first and so far, only WTA Tour title there in 2014, during the spring and summer in which she had her best results.
She didn’t return to defend her title in 2015; she played the big events in Rome and Madrid, winning a total of just one match before losing to Kristina Mladenovic in the first round at the French Open. Last year, she also played just Rome and Madrid as tuneups for Paris.
This year, with her ranking outside the top 50, she will be very much on the bubble for those two Premier events (the entry deadline for Madrid is Monday). She likely will squeeze into Madrid, which has 51 direct entries. For Rome, which has just 43, she might be in tougher shape. Time will tell.
The tournament press-release quote attributed to Bouchard:
“It is great to come back to Nuremberg. I have so many good memories because it was a special moment for me to win my first title on the WTA tour there. I’m looking forward to seeing all the great fans again. “
A more telling quote from tournament director Sandra Reichel (this is Google-translated, so take it FWIW):
“Genie is an absolute gain for our tournament, the spectators and sponsors. You will surely get full stands on centre court. I hardly know a player who works so hard on the court and at the same time has so much positive presence outside the court. In the social media she is an absolute star. “