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'Genie Army' invades Montreal

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There are six of them, they've come from Melbourne and they're proudly wearing their "Genie Army" apparel as they get ready to cheer their heroine at the Rogers Cup.

They first made world headlines when they sported custom made red Diamante Converse Womens Uk

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and white t shirts and banners to cheer on the 20 year old Montreal star at the Australian Open in January.

The superfans are also taking part in some official Rogers Cup events such as photo shoots with Bouchard's Canadian supporters.

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"It was getting harder to find Australian animals," said Filippe Ricciardi, laughing. "I think it would have been a crocodile if she had won the tournament."

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Bouchard received a new stuffed toy after each of her victories leading up to her semifinal match, where she finally fell to china's Li Na.

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her a koala."

The group comprised a dozen members in Melbourne, but only six could afford to make the two day journey from Down Under.

"We hadn't realized how famous the Genie Army was, because we're so far from all that," said Ryan Gibb, who sported a Genie Army t shirt. "We had heard about the (fuss), but to be here and see that people recognize us, it really hits home."

The Womens Converse White All Star Ox V Leather Trainers Genie Army is also accredited for the entire tournament, allowing them to attend every one of Bouchard's matches.

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They tell QMI Agency they never thought their decision to root for Canada's tennis darling would have morphed into a global phenomenon.

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"The tradition is that the two finalists receive a Converse Brown Leather Boots

stuffed animal at the end of the tournament," said army member Jacob Courios. "We thought it would be nice to give one to Bouchard right away, so we brought Buy Converse Uk Cheap

"She was a little shocked, but she said thank you," Courios recalled. "She showed (the koala) off at a press conference and that's where it all started."

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They shouted at the athlete to get her attention following her win over Virginie Razzano, but she didn't hear them, so they tossed the koala at her, and it hit her in the head.

"This experience is surreal," said Sarah Biviano, the only woman in the group. "We decided to come here in February or March, so we've been waiting for this for a long time. It's incredible."

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The group spontaneously decided to don red and white Canadian gear at the Australian Open, adopting their moniker during Bouchard's opening match in Melbourne. Then they decided to do something special for her second round match.

They're here with Tennis Canada's help. While the young Aussies paid for the own air fare, the governing body provided them with an apartment close to Uniprix Stadium.

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