On the list of sports associated with concussions or traumatic brain injuries, tennis ranks pretty low. That didn’t stop a concussion from putting an abrupt stop to a Canadian tennis star’s run at the U.S. open this month, however.
The 26th-ranked Eugenie Bouchard had to withdraw from the tournament after making it to the fourth round, but the injury didn’t happen on the court as you might expect. Bouchard fell while looking for a light switch when preparing to take an ice bath after a mixed doubles match with partner Nick Kyrgios.
— WTA (@WTA) September 28, 2015
Following the advice of medical staff, Bouchard withdrew from the women’s and mixed doubles event the next day and has yet to play in another event. The 21-year-old Canadian has also withdrawn from the Wuhan Open in China, despite being spotted at the event.
The injury serves as a reminder that most concussions don’t actually occur on the court. The majority of brain injuries are the result of accidents such as automobile collisions, bicycle accidents, or falls. Brain injuries from these types of situations may not be as exciting as the bone-crushing hits on the football field, but they can be just as debilitating.
Bouchard is still tentatively planning to compete in the China Open next week, but the time it can take to fully recover from a concussion can be hard to predict. The most important step is making sure to fully recover before returning to competition.