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No coronation for princess' namesake Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon

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LONDON — Eugenie Bouchard sat in a room just off Centre Court watching the engraver etch the champion's name onto the Wimbledon trophy.

It seemed like a cruel punishment: It was Petra Kvitova's name, not hers, that was being put on the Venus Rosewater Dish that goes to the women's winner.

Bouchard, the 20-year-old Canadian playing in her first Grand Slam final, was trounced 6-3, 6-0 in 55 minutes by the hard-hitting Czech lefthander on Saturday, a humbling lesson for a player considered the next big star of the women's game.

After the most lopsided women's final in 22 years, Bouchard was left to wait for the trophy ceremony in a side room while the Centre Court roof was being closed because of rain.

" Yeah, it was a little odd," she said. "I sat down. I put my jacket on. Just reflected. I was in the engraver's room, so I was watching them work, wishing one day, dreaming that he'll write my name somewhere."

Not on this day.

Bouchard, the Wimbledon junior champion in 2012, came into the final with the best record in majors this year — 16-2 — and was the only player to reach at least the semifinals of the first three Grand Slams.

But she couldn't compete with 2011 champion Kvitova, who played one of the best matches of her career, putting on a dominant exhibition of power tennis to capture her second Wimbledon title. Bouchard, a power hitter herself, was on the defensive throughout and the match ended, fittingly, with her watching helplessly as another Kvitova winner — her 28th — flew past her.

"She didn't give me much of a chance," Bouchard said. "Sometimes when a player is on fire like that, there's not much you can do."

PHOTO: Princess Eugenie, center, and Jack Brooksbank, right, sit in the Royal Box on centre court prior to the women's singles final between Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Saturday July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Princess Eugenie, center, and Jack Brooksbank, right, sit in the Royal Box on centre court prior to the women's singles final between Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Saturday July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

The British crowds and media have embraced the Canadian over the past two weeks — not least because she is named after Princess Eugenie, a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

And who turned up to watch her from the front row of the Royal Box? Yes, the princess herself.

"I did see her in the box," Bouchard said. "I'm very happy that she came out. Disappointed I couldn't put on a better show for her, but I'd love to meet her, of course. It's the only person I'm named after. She's the only one in the world."

After absorbing such a heavy defeat, Bouchard can at least consider it a learning experience.

"It was a big moment walking out onto Centre Court for a final," she said. "I have that experience now. I know what it feels like. I hope I can walk out to many more finals. That's the goal."

Bouchard will break into the top 10 of the world rankings on Monday for the first time. She'll be No. 7, the highest ever ranking for a Canadian player. Known for a steely determination, drive and ambition, Bouchard is looking for more.

After flying home to Montreal and taking some time off, Bouchard will set her sights on the last major of the year, the U.S. Open.

"I'm proud of what I've achieved so far, but I'm never satisfied," she said. "I hope I can go one step further in the next Grand Slam."

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Follow Stephen Wilson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stevewilsonap

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