Alexandra, are the worst times over now?
Indeed, I hope I've passed the difficult times. The knee injury I had got worse - not something recent, it has already been three-four years that I felt bothered. I do not know if you noticed, but I always play with taped knees, in different forms. And 2011 was the critical year.
was there no sudden deterioration last year caused by a wrong move or got it simply worse from time to time?
When I started playing more and particularly on hard court, the problems got worse. I could play a little bit every year until last year. After the tournament in Miami, it bothered me that much that I almost felt like having an old man's knees. There was no time to rest that time and I struggled a bit because I knew how serious it is and I was wondering if I can continue playing or not. I went on, despite the fact that I lost my fitness. However, I couldn't play more than one or two matches. I had some interventions that helped a little, but were not sufficient. I had to insist. And this year I started more or less OK in Australia, I felt a little better, but then, in South America, it began. After the tournament in Cali, the same pain. I couldn't play any longer.
Why didn't any doctor recommend you to stop, to stop and take a break?
My doctor said I could continue unimpeded. In the end, it was broken. I asked how did this happen and he said that was probably because of the weakness of my patellar tendon. Eventually I had a surgery in March, in Spain, by a very good doctor. Now I'm recovering. I do not know how long it will take. It depends on what they tell me. These days I will go back to Spain to see him and tell me what to do next.
Can you estimate, however, and with reference to similar cases when we will see you back on court gain?
A few months ... I would say ... two months to three. That would be realistic. Then, I will resume training and return to the circuit. But it all depends on what will be talked about in the next appointment.
How hard is it to see the rest of the girls playing and you cannot be there?
Not a pleasant feeling. There was however a good thing to this injury, that I rested. You know it's not easy! Outside the tennis world it seems to be something easy. But you will eventually feel all the trips, all the routes to move from one continent to another, from one country to another, every week. I slept almost continuously for a month. I could sleep from 9-10 pm and I woke up next day after lunch. Well, I didn't really enjoy the luxury this morning because I had to go to recovery. But I realized how tired I got, especially during that last year I had these big problems. I resisted pain. I tried to get over it. But my body gave me too many signals and I haven't listened.
In how far does this break influence your ranking in the WTA circuit?
I have "frozen" it preventive. Because I wouldn't have known what may happen to me. For now, this is not important. I realized that when your health is shaky, everything is affected. it's OK when I spent much time on court, but when I started to have problems, I started struggling, I realized the limitations and the fact that if you can't move enough on the tennis court, you can not perform. It is vital! And I do not want to torment me! That's why I agreed to get a surgery.
What brought you here at BRD Tiriac Nastase Trophy?
It's my first contact with tennis after a long time. For one month I only recovered and stayed at home. Well, I do not live in Bucharest. I moved to Baloteşti and therefore not really close to town. Apart from going to club Dinu Pescariu and sometimes to the mall, the Baneasa Shopping City, I did absolutely nothing. It's my first "official" shwoing. And I agreed to meet with some friends who go to college now. I just hope it doesn't rain.
Who do you prefer, who do you want to become champion?
I hope to a Romanian is going to win, and the only one remaining in the draw is Horia Tecău ... Other than that I don't have a clear favorite. But, for example, I like Gilles Simon's game. I admire him very much because he seems to be a player without much special power and who appears physically weak and unable, but he can through intelligence, through a good sense of the court, confuse a lot of top players. He is a pleasure to follow
Translated by myself.
A very, very important and much appreciated statement in my opinion. First, we know it's the patellar tendon bothering her, second, her famous Hard Court phobia was probably eventually more a consequence of feeling hurt than being unable to play the game on faster surfaces (as expected)
I don't know which doctor that was who said she could keep up playing, but he needs to be fired.
However, I couldn't resist to giggle a bit about her 'love' for Gilles Simon. They are kind of having the same game plan and attitude towards the game, but this is not the only thing they have in common. The Frenchman also came back from knee injury in big manner winning the ATP 500 tournament on clay last year for example. I hope she can pull of a Simon as well.
Get well soon, we miss you!