Former world No 4 Eugenie Bouchard has failed to seal her place in the Australian Open for the second year running after going down in qualifying.
Bouchard, who rose to fame in 2014 after reaching the final of Wimbledon and semi-finals of both the Australian Open and French Open, was defeated in her second-round qualifying match against Yue Yuan.
The 26-year-old, who is now ranked 141st in the world, was beaten in straight sets 6-2 6-4 by China‘s world No 230 in Dubai.
Eugenie Bouchard crashed out of Australian Open qualifying after losing to China’s Yue Yuan
Due to her lowly ranking, the Canadian did not make the main draw for the Melbourne tournament, and was forced once again to battle her way through qualifying.
Despite coming through her first match comfortably against Abbie Myers, she did not have enough to beat Yan in her second qualifying contest, which has continued her miserable decline in the women’s game.
When she was ranked inside the world’s top five in 2014 after sealing her spot in the Wimbledon final as a 20-year-old, Bouchard had the world at her feet.
She claimed the gong for the WTA’s Most Improved Player in 2014 after her impressive surge to the top of the women’s game, but things have slowly unravelled since.
The Canadian rose to fame in style in 2014 in the women’s game, reaching the Wimbledon final
Bouchard also progressed to the Australian Open and French Open semi-finals in 2014
Not only was her tennis doing the talking, but off court she was becoming one of the sport’s biggest stars thanks to her personality and appearance – she has modelled for Sports Illustrated.
But just under a year later, Bouchard slipped to 49th in the rankings before dropping all the way down to 194th in the world in 2018 after struggling to find consistency on court.
Bouchard had enjoyed an improvement in recent times, winning 26 of her 36 matches since the resumption of tennis in August last year.
However, that rise in form hit a bump in the road on Tuesday when she went down against Yuan.
Bouchard had become one of the biggest names in the sport after bursting onto the scene
The 26-year-old still remains a huge presence thanks to her social media platforms
Yuan claimed an early break of serve in the opening set of the Australian Open qualifying contest before going on to take it 6-2.
Bouchard immediately fought back in the second, taking an early break of serve herself before holding her own to consolidate her lead.
After some strong returns, she took another break and raced into a 4-1 lead in the second set.
But Bouchard couldn’t hold onto her dominance as Yuan immediately broke back twice to level the set up at 4-4.
And Bouchard struggled to turn momentum in her favour when she needed it, before being broken again and losing 6-4 to ensure Yuan progressed.
The Canadian’s rise in form coincided with her presence growing off the tennis court