MELBOURNE, Australia - Genie Bouchard is putting her Australian Open breakthrough form of a year ago out of mind as the Canadian concentrates on a new year and a new tennis season.
The 20-year-old from Westmount, Que., takes the seventh seed when the first major of the season opens on Monday, with Bouchard facing Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam.
"I try to see it as just a new year. I'm not concerned about defending points from last year," said Bouchard, the 2014 Melbourne semi-finalist. "To me it's 2015. I start at zero and try to do as well as I can.
"My past results don't mean anything when I'm going to walk out on the court tomorrow. I still have to fight and try to play as well as I can. I have great memories from last year, but it doesn't really mean anything to me this year."
Bouchard is deliberately keeping the pressure off after rising into the Top-10 thanks to grand slam semis appearances in Melbourne and Paris, and a Wimbledon final.
Her only goal at the moment is beating Friedsam— ranked 91 spots below her. The German took a win over the Canadian three years ago at a minor event in Slovenia.
"I know she's talented. She's young, as well. I think she has a good serve, a good forehand. I don't really remember 100 per cent.
"I'm just going to be ready for a battle. It will be my first tournament match of 2015 (after playing for Canada at the Hopman Cup team event in Perth)... I'm really excited to go out there and try to do my best. Try just to prove to myself that I can get some matches under my belt at the beginning of the year. I think that's always very important."
Bouchard has been without a permanent coach since parting with longtime mentor Nick Saviano under somewhat obscure circumstances in the off-season.
For the moment, the Canadian is travelling in Australia with former player Diego Ayala. That's about the extent of explanations from Bouchard about the arrangement,
"He was someone I worked with when I was younger. You don't get that on the tour now so much. So I think that's helpful for me right now.
"There's that familiarity I have with him right now which is good," she added. "He's been on tour with a few players, can hit really well, as well."
But as for any future plans: "We're in Australia together. I don't know where it's going to go, but that's the plan for now."