Bouchard makes successful return to tennis with doubles win in Vancouver

Canada's Eugenie Bouchard. (Mark Blinch/CP)

After 17 long months away from the court due to injury, Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal served notice on Sunday that she’s back.

The 28-year-old, who looked healthy and happy, made her return to pro tennis in doubles action at the Odlum Brown VanOpen WTA 125 event and came away with a hard-fought victory.

“I was just happy to be out there, so happy to have a partner like Kayla, she did really amazing,” said Bouchard, who is a former World No. 5-ranked player in singles. “We both like to play really aggressive, so we just tried to find that again (in the tiebreak).”

Despite being unfamiliar with each other, Bouchard and Cross’s comfort level grew as the match progressed.

“In the second (set), we got a little bit tight but I think we were still trying to be as aggressive as we could,” said Cross. “It’s the first time we’ve played together, so (we’re) learning about each other and we did a really good job.”

Bouchard was just as happy for Cross because the victory was her first in a WTA event.

“It’s a big day for both of us today,” said Bouchard with a smile. She is set to face Arianne Hartono of France in the first round of singles play on Tuesday.

BASELINES: Marko Stakusic of Etobicoke, Ont., who is a wild-card entry into the qualifying round, is the lone Canadian left in men’s qualifying after the 19-year-old bounced seventh-seeded Michail Pervolarakis of Greece 6-3, 6-4 … Matches at the Odlum Brown VanOpen continue on Monday featuring the final round of men’s qualifying, and the first round of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles main draws. 

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