So its the same old, same old on the men’s side. Roger Federer lost to Andy Murray in three sets in an Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament today, claiming afterward that he’s “realized that I will win some and lose some.” I’ll withhold judgment on Roger, but does anyone doubt that Murray’s making it to his second Major final in a few weeks?
What I’m really interested in is the news surrounding Maria Sharapova’s comeback. When I heard she’d pulled out of the Hong Kong exo this week, I felt a sinking feeling in my gut (the part of my gut that’s devoted to tennis, as opposed to close calls on the freeway, earthquake tremors and the phone ringing after midnight.) But a check on her website relaxed my abdominals. Here’s the story: After 10 weeks of shoulder rehab in Phoenix, the should pain still hadn’t gone away. So her doctor performed a “minor arthroscopic surgery” in October which has apparently done the trick. Now she’s doing all that she can to get ready for the Australian Open. She sounds relieved and optimistic on her latest website posting:
I know this entire process has made me stronger and more hungry. I miss competing so much. I am trying to do everything possible to be ready for Australia, but I have promised my doctors, coach and family that I will not rush back. Since I only started practicing 16 days ago, I have only been able to practice so many hours at a time which is why I don’t feel like I am ready to compete at a high level right now and this is why I need to pull out of the exhibition in Hong Kong. But the great news is that we have taken care of the problem that has been bothering me so much over the last couple of years, and now is the time to get into what I call ‘match shape’. I know my shoulder will be 100 percent by Australia, I just need to see if I have enough tennis training to be ready for that level.
The thing I missed most about Maria Sharapova after she closed shop last July was her competitive fire. I’m happy to read that it’s still burning strong. Remember her very last match of the season? It was a three hour battle against Marta Domachowska at the Rogers Cup. Maria double faulted 17 times, but she still found a way to win – with a torn rotator cuff. Is there any doubt that her gut’s all tennis?
Click here for Maria’s posting.