Small event Wednesday on the clay courts of Madrid: the Canadian Eugénie Bouchard, former hope of women's tennis with a career undermined by injuries, qualified for the second round of the WTA 1000 tournament organized in the Spanish capital. At 29, the former world number 5, now ranked 285th in the WTA rankings, defeated Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in three sets 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 6 -2.
Bouchard was only playing his third game of the season on the WTA Main Tour. The first two, she had disputed them during the less upscale tournament in Bogota, at the beginning of the month, winning the first, losing the second. Her last victory in a tournament in the WTA 1000 category dates back to last October, in Guadalajara, where she stopped in the second round.
Bouchard, who had to go through the qualifications to enter the main draw of the Madrid tournament, will face the Italian Martina Trevisan (20th) in the next round. The Canadian burst onto the professional circuit in 2014, reaching the final at Wimbledon and the semi-finals at Roland Garros and the US Open and climbing to No. 5 in the world.
Injuries have disrupted the rest of his career. A right shoulder operation kept her out of the circuit for 17 months, between March 2021 and August 2022. She has given herself the immediate objective of returning to the Top 100 as soon as possible in order to enter directly into Grand Slam tournaments.
“Playing matches is what I need,” she said on Tuesday after qualifying for the main draw of the Madrid tournament. "It's like starting over," she added.