It’s only a matter of weeks…
10/01/2005Suffering from a knee injury, Justine has to postpone her comeback to the courts. She won’t be participating in the Australian tournaments this year, which was a slap in the face for the Belgian player, after a very tough year.
“I was feeling fit and really ready to play after all my problems last year. When the doctors told me that I had to rest, it was very hard for me to live with that. But if I would play, I could get a more serious injury which would last several months. Anyway, I need to be realistic, I wouldn’t be able to play a Grand Slam for two weeks, I can’t even train for a half an hour right now”, Justine explained last Saturday.
Despite everything, Justine remains optimistic, she has no other choice
« It’ very hard for me, because it’s the beginning of the season, but my tennis will come back, my physical shape too, but after all, it just are a couple of weeks », Justine added. “I will be very careful, I won’t push myself, I already have come a long way
. It’ll take some time, but it’s only a matter of weeks.
Justine was in shape, that’s what Carlos Rodriguez and Pat Etcheberry told us. Even if her fears are not groundless, she’s still craving for victory and she will be happy to play in the best shape again. But we will have to be a little more patient. Once she will be back in Belgium (in the beginning of next week), Justine will consult the doctors to be absolutely sure about the diagnosis and she will take enough rest. After that, she will need to train again before taking part in the upcoming tournaments.
Drop in the WTA ranking ?
The WTA ranking is certainly not Justine’s main problem for the moment. But many of you wondered what the effects of the injury are on the ranking. We’ll take the opportunity to explain a little bit…
Justine, currently number eight, will lose 1286 points for not taking part in the Australian tournaments. Nevertheless, she will stay in the top 20
. Her comeback depends on the injury, but if everything goes well, she’ll start training again in the beginning of February. She will certainly need some weeks of preparation to get back in shape and to find her rhythm back. Therefore, she’ll be out for at least two months.
Seeded n°1 in the protected ranking?
Injured players, who don’t play a single official match for 6 months, benefit from a rule which allows players to have a protected ranking
when they make their comeback on the courts. As you know, the draws
of the tournaments are made up as such, that the best players (the players that are ranked the highest) can’t meet each other on the courts until a certain round of the tournament is reached. A player that benefits from a protected ranking
, allows her to appear in an fictive equivalent of the ranking that she had in her last official match before she got ill or got an injury.
Justine’s last official match was on September 6, 2004 on the US Open. Back then, she still was the number one. When she doesn’t play before March 6, then she will have reached 6 months of absence and will be in a fictive ranking. As a result, she won’t have to play against the better ranked players (such as Davenport, Mauresmo and Myskina) in the first rounds, but she will be a seeded player (just like Davenport, Mauresmo and Myskina).
Once again, we have to wait and see what the doctors say next week and keep up with her health condition. But we can already say that Justine won’t be back on the courts before the beginning of March (on hardcourt), maybe the beginning of April on clay. One thing is for sure, she now craves for victory, more than ever.