Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Category Archives: Injuries

Agnes Szavay Ponders Retirement

After nearly five years of chronic back issues, it appears the sad career of 24 year-old Agnes Szavay will likely be coming to an end as she makes the final decision between risky surgery or retirement. So says the Hungarian media:

According to the news Szavay will decide within days: she’ll choose to either continue her career (despite) the risks associated with surgery or a more relaxed and pain-free life. True, for the time being she cannot even imagine what to do with his life without the sport (she has played) since the age of five.

The timeline of Szavay’s career - if her brief cameo on the WTA can even be called such a thing - is borderline depressing. It was 2007 that she broke through on the WTA as a bright 18 year old with huge talent and even huger, flowing swings with a penchant for delicate variety. She announced herself as even a possible slam champion after that meteoric rise from outside of the top 200 in January 2007 to number 20 by year’s end, reaching a slam quarterfinal and capturing one-and-a-half (the half being her retirement to Kuznetsova whilst a set up in the New Haven final) Tier II titles plus a further lower WTA title in the process.

Already by 2008 she was forced to re-work and shorten her service motion due to the emergence of these back issues, robbing her of one of her prime weapons. After continued back pain in the years that followed, it was in 2011 that she broke down in tears whilst explaining to reporters that the vertebral stress fractures in her back had been discovered too late. Since then, her only presence on the WTA has been only a couple of failed comeback attempts - most recently last year between the London Olympics and US Open. The option of surgery has been on the table since 2011 but she was rightfully hesitant and has since attempted just about every other possible avenue of recovery.

Now it seems surgery is the only option. Despite the great loss her presence and beautiful style of tennis is to the WTA, I personally hope she decides to hang up her racket if there is any possibility that the surgery could worsen her back and have repercussions in her regular life. But, hey, my name isn’t Agnes Szavay. We’ll soon see which decision she comes to.

Quotable Quotes: Three Ankle Sprains Too Many For Serena

Over the past week, it has been stressed so often that the only thing standing in the path of Serena and her sixth Australian Open is herself and injury. So, in a way it should come as no surprise that injury is exactly what has struck. And not just any old injury, but an eerily similar ankle sprain to the one that wrecked her entire Australian season last year. Though she eventually continued and hilariously managed to inflict a double-bagel on Edina Gallovits-Hall despite the injury, it is still certainly still a large concern, as she later stressed.

Q. The fact you came in with no crutches on is a good start for us. How is the leg?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t had enough time to assess it yet. Saw the doctor again. We’re just gonna see how it is in a few hours from now.

Q. So Thursday is too early to call, whether you can play Thursday?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’ll be out there. I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing.

I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.

Q. When you went over, did it remind you of Brisbane last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. It reminded me a lot of Brisbane. I thought, Oh, not again. But, you know, I’ve had such a good year that I don’t think it’s anything negative. I just think that I was definitely a little bit in shock and I was thinking, I hope it’s not as serious, because it was really serious last year.

Q. Is there any pain or swelling there now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Obviously there’s pain. Obviously there’s swelling. So it’s going to be really important to see how the next few hours unfold.

It reminded me a lot of Brisbane. I thought, Oh, not again. But, you know, I’ve had such a good year that I don’t think it’s anything negative. I just think that I was definitely

It’s easy to forget that Serena also sprained her ankle during doubles at the US Open last year which also threw that title campaign into doubt. That’s three sprained ankles in essentially one year. If there is ever a time for Serena’s team to ensure that her own footwork or movement isn’t heightening the likelihood of these ankle sprains, now is probably it.

However, if one thing is certain, it’s that without the extensive taping on Serena’s ankle, the injury would have been dramatically worse. Why don’t more players protect themselves by protecting their ankles?


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