Her tennis may have struggled, and her ranking may have slipped since, but one always sensed a certain swagger in Bouchard. She never let go of the stubborn belief that she belongs at the top of the sport, no matter the ranking next to her name.
Here she is today, in Paris, proving that she may be right after all.
The Canadian, currently ranked 168, has parlayed her wild card into a spot in the third round at a major for the first time in over three years, and will face Poland’s Iga Swiatek for a spot in the last 16.
That’s a giant step for a player that clearly did not take kindly to finishing 2019 with a ranking outside of the top 200 for the first time since 2011.
“I think I've had tough moments, for sure,” Bouchard told reporters after taking out Australia’s Daria Gavrilova, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday. “I think deep down, still believing in myself no matter what, knowing my skill can't just go away, knowing that I've achieved success before.”
Bouchard, who reached her first final in over four years on the red clay in Istanbul two weeks ago, says that she leans on her history when she needs a pick-me-up and that her past success constantly serves to reinforce her belief.
“That's what I use when I need to work hard, when times are tough,” she said.