Just found this article on Iroda, good read, sad in a way as Iroda mentions her elbow injury and how she knows she's not playing good tennis at the moment. Anyway I'll post the article -
Iroda’s crawl back to the top
New Delhi, March 11 A place in the top 20, a gold medal at the 2002 Asian Games, and that unbeatable winning feeling — Uzbekistan’s Iroda Tulyaganova seemed to be on her way to achieving it all. Yet today, she is slugging it out in the little league, miles removed from the glory she had once made her own. She lost in the first round of the $50,000 ITF Women’s Circuit tournament here today, and smiles wryly in recollection of the past. “I had to have an elbow operation that put me out for three years. It was really hard, especially mentally, to come back. But I told myself I have to forget whatever I had achieved earlier. I had to start from scratch,”
says Iroda, speaking to Sportline.
Deceiving memory is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when the entire situation could have been prevented. “I had played too much tennis, my bone was crushed. I was feeling pain, but I did not stop; rather, I was not allowed to. My dad was pushing me to play. If he hadn’t, things would’ve been different now,” she continues. “I had played so much tennis that in the beginning of my layoff, I was happy to get some time away. I could spend time with my mother and sister. But then, I began watching tennis on TV, and after seeing top players like Kim Clijsters and Anastasia Myskina, who I have beaten, I wanted to get back to playing,”
Iroda has rubbed shoulders with tennis’ elite, and even partnered a legend. She played doubles with Martina Navratilova at the 2002 US Open, and admits the veteran is an inspiration as Iroda attempts to find her way back to the top. “She thought I’m very talented and could help me. Even though I had played quite a lot by that time, I felt like a kid in front of her. She is a very nice person and it was good to play with her,”
A semi-finalist at the 2006 Sunfeast Open in Kolkata, the 26-year-old had lost in the qualifying rounds of last week’s Bangalore Open. She now plans to add more tournaments to her calendar in search of a higher ranking than her current 307. “I will be playing more 50ks and 25ks on the circuit. It is hard because I’m not playing my best right now, and sometimes I feel like breaking my racket, screaming, crying; but I know I can’t do that if I want to play better,”