Eugenie Bouchard is a self-proclaimed sun seeker, but when it comes to the holidays, the tennis star has no problem facing the cold to celebrate with her family in Montreal. "I’m always training down south, so I always try to come back to Montreal for one or two days and just have so much fun with my family. It’s the most important thing and with the holidays, you really have to celebrate that," the 23-year-old told HELLO! when we caught up with her in her hometown.
The athlete was back on Canadian soil to help WestJet surprise unsuspecting customers with free trips around the world. As part of the airline's "12 Flights of Christmas" program, Eugenie took aim at a giant advent calendar to reveal some dream destinations (think Ireland, Las Vegas and the Caribbean). "It was so great to see the WestJet guests light up when they saw what destination they were going to,” gushed the star.
Eugenie faced some challenges on the court his year – "I would describe my year as terrible," said the star – but has high hopes for 2018. "I’m looking forward to feeling like myself again on the court. I feel like I’ve lost my path a little bit, so the off-season is going to be about trying to find that again. Tennis is such a big part of my life and it makes me so happy. If I have that and my family, I don’t need anything else in life."
Here, Eugenie reveals her favourite moment of 2017, the unexpected career path she'd want to pursue and explains why her gift giving talents are a grand slam on Christmas morning.
How would you describe your gift giving abilities?
I always buy awesome gifts so I have to keep my standard up this year. I put so much pressure on myself every year, like I have to outdo myself from the year before. I always try to find a brand and I do a theme.
Looking back at 2017, do you have a favourite moment?
Well, most moments on the court weren’t great this year. I’ve had some bad injuries and some bad times, but off the court, my Super Bowl date was one of my favourite moments. [Eugenie wagered a date on Twitter over the outcome of the football championship game, and honoured the bet when her team lost] It so random and lucky how it happened. It was just a happy story and I think we need more happy stories in the world.
If you weren't playing professional tennis, what career do you think you would have pursued?
I love fashion, so when I’ve modelled that’s been really cool to see other worlds. Weirdly, I would have loved to be an air traffic controller. I love that pressure-filled, mathematical, scientific side to things. I was great in math in school but unfortunately, I can’t do everything. When I’m closer to being retired I’ll definitely do some interesting things.