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Tennis: Bouchard wants to start youth revolution

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard hopes her surprise win over former world number one Ana Ivanovic in the Wimbledon second round on Wednesday will spark a youth revolution in the women's game.

Bouchard is making her first appearance in the Wimbledon main draw after winning the junior title at the All England Club last year and she is relishing the experience.

The 19-year-old showed no signs of being intimidated against Ivanovic, a former French Open champion, and even a last minute switch to Centre Court couldn't throw her off her game.

Bouchard's match was moved after Victoria Azarenka pulled out with an injury.

And Bouchard rose to the occasion, taking just 63 minutes to clinch a 6-3, 6-3 win over the 12th seed Serb, who made the semi-finals in 2007.

Bouchard, who faces Spanish 19th seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round, is currently ranked 66th, but her emergence at Wimbledon suggests she could soon be placed much higher.

And at a time when the sport's top prizes are being dominated by older stars like Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, Bouchard would love her win to herald a return to prominence for younger players.

"Some of teenagers that are playing well now are very good players," she said.

"Anything can happen in a match. If we're playing well we can take out some of the top players.

"I think it's cool when they do that at slams as well, at the biggest tournaments.

"I think any day I can beat anyone. It's just about playing the way I know I can."

Bouchard only made her Grand Slam debut at the French Open last month, but she already has a maturity beyond her years.

Her second round meeting with Sharapova at Roland Garros may have ended in defeat, but it didn't faze her and winning on Centre Court will add to her burgeoning self-confidence.

"I played on the main court at the French Open against Sharapova and it was the same thing here," she said.

"I was like, I've done this before. No big deal. But for sure just the more time I get on these big courts helps me in my future matches.

"I played Court One in the junior final last year and I think that helped a little bit. I definitely was calm and felt like I could do this against Ivanovic. It worked out.

"I believed I belonged there and believed I could play with her."

Ivanovic admitted it was her first glimpse of Bouchard and she was impressed with the youngster's potential.

"She was tracking the ball really well, serving well, and she played a great match," Ivanovic said.

"I thought maybe at end she would get tight, but she was really strong the whole way through.

"If she can continue in this manner she has a bright future. She's young but she has great potential."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130626/tennis-bouchard-wants-start-youth-revolution