Eugenie Bouchard's comeback might very well be here — and tennis fans are all for it.
The former Wimbledon finalist's strong ending to 2018 continued into the new year with another late run before bowing out to No. 2 seeded Julia Goerges 6-3 3-6 6-7 in a thrilling quarter-final match at the Auckland Open on Friday.
It's the second consecutive tournament in which Bouchard made a deep run and gave her supporters hope she's ready to put a dreadful 2018 behind her. Last year the 24-year-old dropped as low as No. 194 in the WTA rankings and had to qualify for both Wimbledon and the US Open — part of her sad decline since her rise in 2014, which started in Australian Open with a shocking run to the semi-finals.
Bouchard ended her season last year with an impressive semi-finals run at the Luxembourg Open in October, which included a win against Carla Suarez-Navarro. Bouchard lost to Goerges in that tournament, and the same happened again in Auckland, but there were plenty of positives to take from the clash.
Goerges, ranked No. 14 in the world, praised Bouchard following Friday's three-set win, saying she thinks there's more to come from the former No. 5 ranked Canadian.
"She's working hard and we know that she's capable of playing great tennis, so I expected a tough match," Goerges said.
"Everybody can play tennis, but what we saw today, I think she's developed totally in the right direction … I'm pretty sure she's going to go right up the rankings again."
Following her ASB ousting, Bouchard took to Twitter after her match and displayed a new-found focus for tennis.
So often criticised for spending too much time flaunting her figure on social media instead of focusing on her on-court endeavours, the response on social media to Bouchard's last start was overwhelmingly positive.
Bouchard was feeling the love in the stands too and she certainly noticed it, taking to Twitter afterwards to highlight one special supporter who brought an impressive accessory with him.
We're sure she had her tongue planted firmly in cheek by calling him "my new boyfriend" but the Canadian has scored a date off social media before, so never say never.
The loss to Goerges came after Bouchard launched her new season on Monday with a commanding 6-3 6-3 win over America's Madison Brengle as she showed signs of recovering some of her best form in a convincing win.
She shot to an early 3-0 lead in the first set, dropped serve on a couple of unforced errors then picked up momentum again and quickly closed out the set. The first four games of the second set went again to serve but Bouchard was dominant again when she steadied and put her first serve in play.
Bouchard gained in confidence, sending down three unanswered aces and clinching the match against the 88th-ranked Brengle in 71 minutes.