Eugenie Bouchard, the former World No 5 from Canada, continues to recover from surgery to repair the torn subscapularis in her right shoulder sustained in March, admitting recently that she was scared to undergo the procedure because she had never been under anaesthesia before.
Everything is on track and is going well, but he [the doctor] wants me to strengthen my shoulder a little bit more before I get back on court. Everything is still on time, so I just need a few more weeks of intense PT and strengthening and then I can finally, five months later, get on the court. Eugenie Bouchard
“Full Anaesthesia. I was so scared beforehand ‘cuz I’ve never been under,” Bouchard explained on Instagram. “But everything went perfectly.
“However when I came to, after the procedure, I kinda freaked out and was super emotional lol. My mom took videos. I’ll have to show y’all one day. It’s too funny!”
Bouchard, whose ranking has dropped to No 250 in the world, is looking to return to match play in Rome next year.
“Hopefully Rome in May 2022!” she confirmed. “Last time I played Rome was 2016. Can you believe it?”
Poised to have a good season in 2021 after reaching the final in Guadalajara Open in March, the 27-year old was forced to surrender to the shoulder injury she picked up during her first-round match there.
After trying ‘every form of conservative treatment and rehab known to man’, Bouchard revealed three months later that she had elected to have arthroscopic surgery.
In a separate post, Bouchard told her Instagram followers that she had received ‘good news’ regarding her recovery and all was well.
“I saw the doctor last week and everything is on track and is going well, but he wants me to strengthen my shoulder a little bit more before I get back on court,” Bouchard said on Instagram in late October.
“Everything is still on time, so I just need a few more weeks of intense PT and strengthening and then I can finally—five months later get on the court.”
Bouchard has been using hydrotherapy sessions in her recovery programme.
”A glimpse into some of the hydrotherapy I’ve been doing for my shoulder,” she said. “Recreating movements in water activates more muscles! I’ve found it helpful, and such a good burn/workout.”
Bouchard followed the US Open and said it was refreshing to see what Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez did.
“We were all in this narrative, saying ‘Tennis is so hard on the players’ minds, they can’t compete with the pressure, media are going too hard on those kids,’ and then you get Fernandez and Raducanu coming, all lights out, big eyes, so happy just to be out there, enjoying the moment, not thinking about the backstage, the business,” Bouchard told Tennis Majors.
“They’re just playing the match and beating those players.
“It’s so refreshing, and the contrast is massive between them and Naomi feeling like she needs a break and has no joy out there.”
Meanwhile, Bouchard has debuted New Balance x Bandier’s second collection in the company’s ‘Her Advantage’ campaign.
“Her Advantage. The new @newbalance x @bandier collection, inspired by my love of fashion, and anchored in the idea that if you look good, you play good and feel even better,” she posted on social media.
New Balance is collaborating with the leisure brand, Bandier, producing the new neutral-toned New Balance 327 sneakers.
Sponsored by New Balance, Bouchard signed a multi-year contract with the athletic brand in 2020 after Nike dropped her in 2019.
The latest New Balance x Bandier collection features a fun collaborative colour-way of the New Balance 327 kicks and a full apparel collection, with sweatpants, tank tops, long-sleeves and hoodies in the neutral-tone collection.
Apart from New Balance, Bouchard is also endorsing brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, Yonex, Wilson, Babolat, and Head, which makes the Canadian one of the most recognisable players of the modern era.
Having burst onto the global scene as a 20-year-old when she reached the 2014 Wimbledon final, Bouchard was catapulted into stardom as the endorsement deals swarmed in and public interest heightened.
Her ranking rose to No 5 in the world by the end of that year when she was voted the WTA’s most improved player in 2014.
A fluke concussion after slipping on a wet floor at the US Open rendered her unable to compete in the fourth round, sparking a loss of form and confidence that spiralled her into decline.
By 2017, Bouchard had returned to the ITF circuit, but she failed to dominate and rediscover her spark.
Despite her lack of form, Bouchard remained an attractive and marketable athlete, and is one of only five active tennis players with more than two million followers on Instagram.
She looked well on her way to regaining her form this year before having to have the shoulder surgery and, at 27, she could yet make a resurgence back to the top of the game.