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WTA denies it will fly Eugenie Bouchard's fans to WTA Finals

Despite massive crowd support, Eugenie Bouchard couldn't overcome Shelby Rogers in the Rogers Cup, falling 0-6, 6-2, 0-6. Photo: Philippe Bouchard/Icon SMI

Despite massive crowd support, Eugenie Bouchard couldn't overcome Shelby Rogers in the Rogers Cup, falling 0-6, 6-2, 0-6.

No, the WTA will not be flying the "Genie Army" to the WTA Finals in Singapore at the end of the year.

The Genie Army is a group of fans based in Melbourne, Australia that made its loyalties known earlier this year at the Australian Open, when it turned up in matching t-shirts to cheer on Eugenie Bouchard as she made her first Slam semifinal. Bouchard's rise through the rankings has continued since then. The 20-year-old made her top 10 debut after advancing to her first Slam final at Wimbledon. 

Following Bouchard's surprising 0-6, 6-2, 0-6 loss to American qualifier Shelby Rogers in the second round of the Rogers Cup on Tuesday night, The Globe and Mail reported Tennis Canada flew out members of the Genie Army to Montreal to cheer her on and that the WTA was ready to fly the Genie Army to Singapore for the WTA Finals in Singapore if she qualifies. The idea that the tour would actually pay to fly out fans of a single player — there are seven other players in the field — caught fans and commentators off guard. 

Hours after The Globe and Mail report began to circulate on Twitter, the WTA denied any such proposal. 

The confusion appeared to involve two comments WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allasater said in a press conference in Montreal. Asked a flurry of questions about the new face of Canadian women's tennis, Allaster said, "[Bouchard] really engages with the fans. We just have to look that the Genie's Army has flown here from Australia to support her here at home in Montréal. They'll do the same if she makes it to the WTA Finals in Singapore." Later in the press conference, Allaster added, "If Genie makes it to Singapore, we want to bring the Genie's Army there."  

When asked to comment, the WTA issued the following statement: "Stacey never said anything about paying for fans to travel. She did say we want fans to travel and we want Genie's Army, and everyone's army, to go to our tournaments. That, plain and simple, is what Stacey indicated. Nothing more. Nothing less."

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