THE INFO YOU NEVER SEEN BEFORE

Sania Mirza eyeing a French Open return


FOR the third consecutive year, I have faced the disappointment of sitting on the sidelines with an injury in these few weeks leading up to the French Open. Call it coincidence or whatever, but it is surely very frustrating to watch the important tournaments go by while my competitors earn valuable ranking points, forcing me to play catch up with them all over again.
As I have said time and again, injuries are an integral part of every tennis player’s life in today’s gruelling sport and as professional athletes, we have to learn to come to terms with this fact.
Of course, the cynics would perhaps, jump to conclusions on how unfit we, Asians, are in comparison to the Europeans or Americans. However, if one were to closely follow the fortunes of all the top-100 players of the world, one would find that at any given time, there are at least a dozen players, who are out with injury of some nature and each one of us goes through cycles of being unfit during the course of one’s career.
It is therefore imperative to constantly try and increase the length of periods during which one is fit enough to compete by working hard at the fitness. One must also learn to manage the injuries when they do come to avoid long term absence from the circuit.
As athletes, we are consistently stretching our physical attributes to the optimum and it’s a fine line that we need to draw in our constant endeavour to remain match fit at the highest level.
My wrist has troubled me for over a year now and whenever I hit the ball late, I would feel a painful stab on impact. The pain would go away after a few moments and I would continue to play. There was a swelling at the end of the game and I needed to ice my wrist to recover in time for the next match.
This went on for a few months but when I mishit a ball in the second set of my pre-quarterfinal against Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova in the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, the excruciating pain that I felt was of a different level.
The painkillers I gulped down had little effect on the acute discomfort and I struggled to finish the match. I had an MRI done on my wrist and the diagnosis was a torn capsule. The doctor advised surgery although he explained that it was not an emergency.
However, I was very clear in my mind that with the Olympics round the corner, I needed to be at my peak within the next few months and I decided to go through with the surgery at the earliest convenient date.
Dr Badia, who operated on me in Florida, is a world-reknowned hand specialist, who has treated professional sportspersons on a regular basis. The good part is that though my wrist is in a cast, I can still work out in the gymnasium with my physical trainer to strengthen and develop the rest of my body.
By the first week of next month, I will start mobilising my wrist and in due course of time, get back onto the tennis court. If all goes well, I should be back on the circuit by the time the French Open gets underway. However, it may take a few more weeks before I am back to my competitive best. TCM

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