What's wrong with Eugenie Bouchard?

    (CNN)It's the question many in tennis are asking: What's wrong with Eugenie Bouchard? Bouchard herself doesn't have the answers just yet but she'll have more time to ponder an answer.

    The Canadian became the highest seed to be eliminated from this year's French Open when she was downed by France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-4 6-4 in the first round on Tuesday, an eighth loss in her last nine matches.
    The scoreline didn't tell the entire story. It could have been even worse for Bouchard -- Mladenovic led 5-0 in the second set before succumbing to nerves.
      "There's no question there is less zip on her serve and certainly on her ground strokes as well," observed veteran Canadian tennis writer Tom Tebbutt.
      Last year clay proved to be a surprisingly fruitful surface for Bouchard, as she won her maiden title in Germany on the eve of Roland Garros and maintained the momentum in Paris by advancing to a second straight grand slam semifinal.
      It, too, proved to be a springboard for the grass-court swing.
      A former girls' winner at Wimbledon, Bouchard bridged the gap between the junior and pro ranks faster than a Serena Williams serve, making the women's final.
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      And last week, the 21-year-old was named the world's most marketable athlete by SportsPro, a British magazine.
      Indeed she appeared headed on the same path as her idol, Maria Sharapova, a multiple grand slam champion who has long been the world's richest female athlete.
      Bouchard certainly has time on her side and only the brave would predict her best days are behind her, but these are indeed worrying times for her.
      An assortment of injuries this year, a coaching change and going from the hunter to the hunted have no doubt been contributing factors. But no one would have predicted this kind of a slump, especially after Bouchard began 2015 with a solid quarterfinal result in Melbourne.
      "I feel like I have been trying to work on what's been going wrong, and I feel like I have been making progress," the sixth seed told reporters. "So to still have matches like this is actually disappointing. But, I mean, at the same time it's just a tennis match and, you know, I need to not worry too much.
      "Life is still good. Everyone has highs and lows in their career. This is a little bit of a low point for me."
      Notoriously tough talking and no nonsense, another Canadian tennis writer noticed a change in Bouchard's tone as she addressed the media.
      "Never in recent memory has she seemed so lost, so shell-shocked, really," wrote Stephanie Myles. "In a way, she has rarely appeared more sympathetic, more human."
      Bouchard's coach, Sam Sumyk -- formerly in the corner of two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka -- told French sports newspaper L'Equipe prior to the loss to Mladenovic that he was convinced Bouchard would overcome the hiccup.
      "You have several choices when going through a storm," he told L'Equipe in an article translated by Tennis Translations. "You can get depressed, you can attach a weight to your leg and jump off a bridge. Or, if you have character, and I think my player has lots of character, you try and bounce back. I know she's going in that direction.
      "Everything changed for her after her Wimbledon final ... she went from, we don't know who she is, to a slam final. That's heavy.
      "All the parameters change. When you have good results and climb in the rankings, you enter the circle of the most hated players on the tour. By that I mean everyone wants to kick your butt. You have to be ready for that. Normally you prepare for it. She's learning by doing. That's very different, but I think she has everything it takes to pull through."
      Bouchard will now have ample time to prepare for the grass. She is hopeful of a turnaround but still sounded uncertain.
      "Hopefully the grass will be good for me," she said. "Plans are to go and play and play a couple of warmup tournaments, and, yeah, hopefully enjoy it."