FLASHBACK: When Genie made her TC Live debut!

Eugenie Bouchard is still a tennis player.

The 28-year-old Canadian is returning to play this week at the 125-level event in Vancouver, having been off the tour for almost a year and a half following shoulder surgery.

But the former No. 5 says that while the "forced stop" was tough, she also rediscovered her commitment to the game during her layoff.

"I’ve just gained so much experience off the court," she was quoted as saying by Canadian press. "I’ve been through some really tough moments and it has really tested my patience.

"It made me realize how much I loved tennis."


Bouchard made a winning return in doubles at Vancouver, but says she is still working her way back toward match toughness.

"I was exhausted," she said. "It’s just that mental focus. To play in a match is different than practice."

She adds that she's not placing any pressure on herself, saying, ''I've never had to come back from surgery before, I’ve never had such a big injury. For me, it’s really ground zero."

While Bouchard stayed busy during her break with commentary, sponsor activities and time off, she says she would rather be competing.

"No matter if I do photo shoots or other cool things, I would always rather be sweating on a court," she said.

Bouchard starts singles play against Arianne Hartoro.