Tennis is one of the most popular sports around the world and is cited as one of the healthiest activities that you can do to maintain your fitness. It can be done from the earliest of ages up to the later years of life. The sport is played year round, both indoors and outdoors, and the professional tour does not have much of an off-season for those players fighting for rankings points. As a result, players at the highest level run the biggest of risks for potential career ending injuries.
With stories tending to be on the negative side when it comes to injury, two stories emerged this week of players returning to action that were positive and exciting. The first was news that Andy Murray, the three-time Grand Slam champion and recently-announced retired tennis player, was back. The former world number 1 posted a video of himself hitting tennis balls following his January surgery. Murray played in the Australian Open this year and put on a valiant effort despite the pain that he had been feeling for considerable time. He told the media it was unlikely that his career would go much further. Andy is a fan favorite in the tennis world and to see him show signs of a potential return to competitive tennis is an incredible feat and great inspiration for all athletes fighting through injury.
The second story was a return to action for Shelby Rogers. This week the Volvo Car Open Tournament began on the WTA Tour in Charlestson, South Carolina, and you might have thought that Rogers had won the tournament after her first round victory reaction. The Charleston native fell to her knees, overcome by the moment, and tried to hold back a stream of tears.
Just over a year ago Rogers had reached a career-high ranking of 48, and, in only her second tournament of the year, she ruptured the cartilage in her knee. Physical therapy led to surgery, which led to rehab, and Rogers contemplated whether her young career might have already come to a painful end. Following a year of carefully followed recovery and training Shelby was able to return to the tour this week, not just compete at the highest level again, but secure a victory.
"I did the right things along the way," said Rogers. "The training paid off. It's so refreshing, and just gives me a lot of confidence moving forward." Two inspiring stories of recovery and success in hard work and perseverance. You can see Shelby's interview following her first round victory in the video below.