I’m afraid I have some bad news to share with you all today. After a lot of thought and many hours of discussion with doctors and physiotherapists, I have decided to retire from the game of tennis. Over the past few years my knees have been put through the wringer and it has become clear to me, not through lack of trying, that they will never truly get better.
Tennis is such a brutal, unforgiving sport. You have to be in tip-top shape just to be competitive. While I know that many professional players out there are nursing injuries during matches, there aren’t many out there that are starting tournaments, training blocks, or even simple practice weeks hurt, and there lies my disadvantage. I don’t feel like I can maintain my game and level once I get a couple matches into a tournament. By the third day of competition my knees and hips lock up and I simply cannot move anymore. Another frustrating factor is that I don’t feel like I can train as hard as I want to, as hard as I need to. I can’t work on my footwork for hours on end, I can’t do drills all day long, I can’t hit baskets and baskets of serves like I should be. These are the kinds of things that I need to be doing in order to get an edge, but my body and primarily my knees are stopping me from doing it.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a challenge. Between apartment hunting and coaching it’s been difficult to find the time to really dedicate myself to the cause. I’m happy to say that I’m on the right track again. I’ve found a place to stay in Irvine, 5 minutes away from where I train and coach, and therefore things are looking up.
I’ve entered myself into four tournaments in the next month. A men’s Open tournament in Santa Maria on the 31st of August, and then three Futures in a row in the Los Angeles area starting on the 6th of September. I’ve got 11 days before it all kicks off, so I’m going to use the time I have in Irvine to train as hard as I can. For the next two weeks I’m going to be hitting twice a day, running, training in the gym and doing as many footwork exercises as I can.