Eugenie Bouchard scored a victory in court last month, gaining a favorable ruling from a jury and an undisclosed settlement for damages after suing the United States Tennis Association for a fall in the women’s locker room at the U.S. Open.
But it was the only victory in recent months for Bouchard, 24, who is struggling on the tennis court and, increasingly, off it.
The latest off-court development is the departure of her agent, John Tobias of TLA, who severed ties with Bouchard last week. Her list of sponsors was once long and lucrative, as she capitalized on her 2014 on-court success, but those relationships have dried up too.
TLA was the fourth agency to represent Bouchard since she reached the Wimbledon women’s singles final in 2014. That is an unusual number for any professional athlete, especially in such a short time frame. She also had previously been represented by two heavyweights in sports management, Lagardère and WME/IMG.
“I didn’t agree with the way some things were being done, and felt it best if she found someone else,” Tobias said.
“I don’t have anyone in place right now,” she said. “A lot has been going on and it’s, like, the seventh thing on my mind right now. But after this tournament I’ll regroup, spend some time with my team and try to figure something out.”
Three people with knowledge of Bouchard’s contracts said that three of her biggest sponsors did not renew their agreements this year: Colgate; Aviva, an insurance company; and Usana, a line of nutritional supplements.
With longtime clothing sponsor Nike, Bouchard’s compensation is strictly performance- and rankings-based. That is a fairly standard part of the latter stages of those contracts.
Bouchard is currently No. 116 in the WTA rankings. And according to two people with knowledge of Nike’s practices, the company is paying her zero dollars, as of March 1. It is expected that she will no longer wear a line exclusive to her.
Of more pressing concern is the fact that her longtime contract with Babolat rackets expired at the end of 2017, and was not renewed.
Two minor endorsements in recent weeks were made without Tobias’s knowledge and damaged the player-agent relationship.
One advertisement has her promoting an e-book about cryptocurrency. She is seen posing near a basketball court, with the home page of the company’s website appearing on her mobile phone.
The second shows Bouchard in full makeup pointing to a tube of chewable energy tablets from Neuenergy.
Neither is a blue-chip endorsement with a well-established brand like Rolex and Beats, collaborations that characterized Bouchard’s endorsement portfolio until now.
Both advertisements appear on Bouchard’s Instagram feed, which has more than 1.7 million followers and once was filled with various promotional posts.
All that remains are photos from her latest appearance in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue and pictures and videos of her training.
After testing rackets during the off-season, Bouchard began the 2018 season playing with a Head model. But she quickly returned to her tried-and-tested Babolat Pure Aero by the time she competed at the Australian Open.
But it seems that now, the effects of her struggles on the court finally are being felt off it.