What made you decide to come back to the WTA Tour?
It’s kind of complicated because there are many reasons. Basically, I didn’t want to regret not having played tennis again and I thought I should just do it now. I still love this sport and I’m still connected to it. I wanted to come back for my family and myself.
Has your game changed at all since the last time you played?
It’s still pretty much the same game: big serve, big forehand. Those are my roots.
Did you think your comeback would be as successful as it has been?
I had no idea. After five years, my expectations were pretty low. I didn’t even know if I could put two balls in the court, let alone win a match. Now, I’m not settling. I want to continue to progress.
What does being back at Rogers Cup mean to you?
I’m really excited because I train at the National Tennis Centre. So, these are like my home courts. For me to be able to return to a very Canadian tournament is really exciting.
What is your best memory at Rogers Cup?
I actually remember going to the prequalifying event at my very first Rogers Cup. I got the qualifying wildcard and got my butt kicked by Jamea Jackson 6-0, 6-0. Maybe it’s not a good memory but I think it’s pretty funny!
Why was it important for you to be part of the FearlesslyGirl Summit taking place at Rogers Cup?
I heard about it because Madison Keys is really involved with the movement. It’s important to me because we are role models for young women and young athletes, and if we can be open about certain things that have gone on in our lives and how we’ve moved on and grown stronger, I think it can be inspiring to a lot of people.
We saw you on the sidelines at the Fed Cup tie against Ukraine. Would you like to be part of Team Canada again?
I would love to. It’s not my decision, so I’ll leave it up to the captain and coaches. But if I get the call, I would love to. Representing Canada is one of my favourite things.
What does representing Canada mean to you?
It’s almost something greater than yourself because, as a tennis player, you’re always playing for you. So, at Fed Cup or even the Olympics, it’s like you’re part of something bigger. I don’t identify as anything other than Canadian. My family has been in Canada for generations and wearing the maple leaf is everything I ever wanted growing up.
What are your goals for the next few months and years?
Right now, I just want to stay healthy, compete as much as I can and try my hardest. I want to see where I can be at the one-year mark and, after that, I’ll try to set more concrete goals. It’s been five years and I can’t expect myself to be right back in the Top 50 again. I have to build my ranking up.
What’s coming up for you in the next few months in term of tournaments?
I always try to play all the Canadian tournaments, so, after Rogers Cup, I’m going to try to play the Vancouver Open. And later in the year, there’s Québec, which I would really love to play. After that, it depends on where my ranking is.
How was hitting with Carla Suarez Navarro?
She’s really high ranking and I haven’t hit with anybody who’s in the Top 50, so I can see what the level is. She has an awesome one-handed backhand, and that’s so rare on the Tour.