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WTA stars inspire youths in sharing session

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Women's tennis legend Chris Evert (holding trophy, left) and Australian Open semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard (holding trophy, right) shared their tennis journeys with students and teachers from local secondary and tertiary institutes. (Photo by Rahman Roslan / Getty Images)

“Tennis is like life, you win some, you lose some, but you just continue to play,” commented Chris Evert on her 30-year long tennis journey, during the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) launch of ‘Road to Singapore’ on Monday, 27 January.

Evert was joined by Australian Open semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard at the community event, held prior to the ‘Road to Singapore’ press conference, at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.

The hall buzzed with the excitement of students and teachers from local secondary and tertiary institutes, most of whom were tennis enthusiasts.

As the session commenced, the audience gained an insight into the daily lives of these players. Bouchard, 19, took part in her first tennis match at the age of eight.

She shared about her daily routine since she started playing professionally. A typical day would consist of “two hours of pure tennis” in the daytime and two hours spent at the gym at night, with massages in between to maintain her physical wellness. As a result, the time she has to spend living like a “normal teenager” is scarce.

The discipline involved in the success of these stars is not only confined to day-to-day routines, it is also evident in their state of mind during their various seasons. During her tournament season, Bouchard avoids all forms of media to prevent public opinion from shaking her mental preparation for her upcoming games.

“Sometimes it’s better to have bad memory,” explained Evert on how she dealt with issue that may dampen her morale during tournaments.

The global tennis scene has seen much positive change since Evert’s golden years. Women who played tennis professionally were only paid “ten per cent of what men got”, which sparked much resentment among the former gender.

At present, this disparity is much less extreme, with women and men being paid equal prize money at major tennis tournaments such as the Grand Slams.

Moreover, Evert points out that the tennis scene has become much more vibrant in the Asia Pacific region, with players such as China’s very own Li Na , a high-spirited player who recently smashed her way through to the winning title at the 2014 Australian Open.
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