I decided to write a blog after a very long time to reflect upon one of the toughest seasons of my career and to look forward to a new year and a fresh start in 2017.
As you know, a lot of matches did not go my way in 2016, my confidence went missing, I didn’t pick up the ranking points I needed; in truth I lost my way.
Tennis is so all-consuming that sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture. We play week-in, week-out, tournament after tournament for almost 11 months of the year and expect to win every week. When you’re not on top of your game, it can sometimes feel like you are rolling with the punches. When matches you should win start to go against you, it’s hard not to question your love for the game.
On top of everything, my body broke down for the first time. I was struggling with back pain that just kept coming back. It kept me away from the court longer than I wanted. I was aggravating the injury every month which meant that mentally and physically, it was hard to establish any consistency.
I just wasn’t ready to come back, yet every single time I tried. I couldn’t compete the way I wanted to, I couldn’t play some of the tournaments I wanted to, my ranking dropped and yes, my confidence did too. But you know what? I survived. And instead of dwelling on the tough losses and the missed opportunities, I will focus on the fact that I went through all of that and lived to fight another day.
They say you learn more in defeat than in victory so I can honestly say I learned SO MUCH about myself this year. I learned that I need to listen to myself more and I need to trust myself. I learned that I need to find happiness in myself so that I can enjoy everything else in life. I learned that I need to have more rest in between practices so my body can recover better. I learned to listen to my body.
As I write this, I’m happy to say that I’m finally pain free. I have not touched a racket since my last tournament in Toronto. I spent a lot of time with my boyfriend and family. We’ve been to Hawaii and Mexico, and we have had an amazing time. The people I love support me unconditionally and that is what matters, they are the people who have helped me to turn the negatives into positives.
I definitely felt like I needed some time away from the court and to have had almost two months off feels wonderful. But as time goes on I really miss being on the court and hitting that little yellow thing. I miss the clarity of mind that I have on the court, where I am in control of everything. I miss creating those irreplaceable emotions of winning or losing. I can’t see myself doing anything other than playing tennis. It’s in my blood. It’s where I “feel” the most, it makes me sad sometimes, sure, but it also brings me the greatest joy.
So you know what? I can’t wait to be back in 2017. I am excited to work hard, I have no points to defend and many new lessons to learn. I thank you for staying with me on this crazy journey. Life in tennis is a rollercoaster, but it’s MY rollercoaster and I don’t want to get off.