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.
Following the Futures in Los Angeles I feel like I’ve had a lot to think about. My knees really let me down in the later stages of all three tournaments. They haven’t bothered me too much on the doubles court in the past but this time around it seemed like every time I got 2 or 3 rounds into the tournament they locked up and made the next couple of rounds a real challenge. My biggest concern was general mobility and pushing off on the serve and return.
Going forward my plan is to take a little time off and see if I can get my knees back to a place where I can be competitive. Initially, my plan was to travel to South Africa and Zimbabwe in November to play four Futures. Unfortunately, I was just notified by the South African Tennis Association that all four tournaments have officially been cancelled and postponed until early next year.
This news has somewhat thrown me for a loop and I’m busy looking into other possible places that I can go in November and December. Right now it’s looking like the two viable options are Thailand or Senegal. I’ll keep you posted and update you as soon as I know where I’m going. Thanks for reading!