Montreal native Eugenie Bouchard is taking the tennis world by storm.
She`ll be competing in her first Grand Slam semi-final tonight at the Australian Open - being the first Canadian woman to do so in three decades - and will be watched by countless tennis fans worldwide.
A good number of them will be here in Montreal, where Geniemania is taking hold.
Among her legions of fans are staff and students at the two Montreal schools she attended growing up: the all-girl private school The Study, where she attended elementary school, and Westmount High.
Teachers like Susie Levesque at the Study say she displayed not only athletic prowess at a young age, but other winning qualities as well.
"Eugenie was a very energetic kid, she was very positive in my class," says Levesque. "She worked very hard and was very humble in her skill, but was also very giving to the other students in her class."
Jeff Kosow taught her phys ed at Westmount High. He says she's been an inspiration to all of them, especially the female students.
"Not so much perhaps to follow their tennis dreams, because we all know that tennis in Canada is not always easy, but more that, here's a Montreal girl doing so well in her chosen career."
Both say the students are thrilled at having an alumna succeeding at such a high level, and are following her career closely.
They also think they'll be seeing a renewed interest in tennis come spring.
Photo courtesy the Associated Press