TORONTO—Eugenie Bouchard wants to keep it simple going into her home event in Toronto, having seen her ranking fall into the 70s this season.
The former world No. 5 does not have her coach, Thomas Hogstedt, with her, though he returns next week. Bouchard also spent some time hitting with Andre Agassi while training in Las Vegas following Wimbledon.
"Andre told me that tennis is simple and people [make it] complicated. So I take that quote very seriously and to heart, and try to remember it when I'm on the court," she said.
That means playing assertively, suggested Bouchard.
"I just really want to go for it, not hold back,” she said. “And, you know, not really let nerves or pressure kind of dictate the way I play. And so, yeah, I just want to kind of play free."
The 23-year-old also did some physical training with Gil Reyes, Agassi's former trainer.
"I'm not going to reveal our secrets. But I love Gil. He's a very special person, one of my favorite people in the entire world, and I've known him since I was 16," she said.
Like Agassi once did, Bouchard dropped back into the minor leagues to play an International Tennis Federation event this season following four straight first-round defeats.
"It was definitely a humbling experience,” she said, “and a bit of an eye-opening experience as well to see, obviously, the difference in the level of the tournament. I mean, we didn't even need badges to get on site. You know, people just walked up and there were just so many huge differences. And it was something I wanted to go do myself and, actually, my whole team was against it, but I'm very glad I did.
"And, you know, to see—like, look at all these players and there was [a] great level of tennis, and I didn't even win the tournament. You know, kind of grinding at this level and, you know, this is what you would have to do if you keep losing, so stop losing."
Bouchard plays Donna Vekic in the first round.