This week was marked by a significant decision for me. Rather than leaving to play in Monterrey this week, I decided that my body needs rest and that some time away from the court will benefit my season in the long term. I have been nursing some injuries since the very beginning of the year, and after a particularly painful practice, my coach and I sat down to discuss our options. I could have continued to limp through events, knowing that I was unlikely to feel near one hundred percent, or I could take some time off to try to maximize the back end of my season. After a consultation with my doctor, we decided upon the latter.
The bad news is that I will miss out on the last few events that count toward qualification for Roland Garros. This means I will have to hurdle three rounds of qualifying just to make it into the main draw. The good news is that, with any luck, I should be back in competition a couple weeks before Paris, so the time out won’t be too significant. I’m hoping that with a renewed body and some preparation, I will be a threat in the qualifying draw.
The next few weeks away from the court will not be passed idly for me. I will spend exhaustive hours doing physical therapy and non impact physical training until I get the go ahead to get back on court. In addition, I have committed myself to a very strict diet targeted at reducing inflammation in my body and improving my overall health. Sadly, that means saying goodbye to Chipotle and some of my other favorite restaurants, at least for the time being.
I plan to spend much of my downtime finding ways to optimize my recovery, reading, and learning how to cook in my new home. It sounds weird, but I really think this time away is a good thing. Clearly, my tennis had not been at its best since the Australian Open, and after two seasons of playing January through November, I think I was simply asking too much of my body. Hopefully, this will serve as the mental and physical break that I need in order to come back hungry to win and with the physical tools to do so.
In the coming weeks, I will try to document as much of my recovery process as possible to keep you in the loop. It’s never fun to spend time away from competition as an athlete, but I’m prepared to take on a new challenge. And hey, I’m still allowed to eat dark chocolate, so at least there’s that.
About My Tennis Life Series:
In February of 2017, Tennis Channel launched its first multi-platform content series My Tennis Life featuring two professional tennis players, Nicole Gibbs (USA) and Sam Groth (Australia), as they traverse the globe in search of valuable ATP and WTA points. The series gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the professional tour. Tennis fans across the globe will witness Sam and Nicole’s efforts to break through respectively on the ATP and WTA Tours, and the challenges they face while trying to improve their game and career earnings.