She's had a hard time of it this year emotionally. I don't think tennis has been high on her list of priorities at times this year, even though I'm sure that she loves the game and wants very badly to be back where she was. It's understandable. Her situation is complicated, and very unfortunate. I'd give anything that she wasn't going through it. It's hard when you can't focus, for whatever reason. It affects your desire, your ability to train, to be motivated. But she always looks great to me. And I'm sure that she'll find herself and her game again eventually. We just have to be patient and understand that it takes time.
And we must be supportive--that is the most important thing. Like anyone, these players are human beings, not all that different from you and me. A little confidence can go a long way, but tough words can hurt, too. Caring and being supportive doesn't cost anything, and a friendly note of support or encouragement can make anyone's day.
Heidi El Tabakh Allie Kiick* Monica Puig * Laura Robson *