Unfortunately Sabine gave us the news today that a knee injury will keep her from competing again in 2015. This knee bothered her through the U.S. Open series and even earlier in the year in Indian Wells and Miami. It is a far too early finish to an already subpar season.
While I’m surprised to hear she will not play again this year, I’m not surprised that she had an injury. When she didn’t enter Wuhan, I figured something was up. I didn’t know what it was however. I thought maybe she was just using it to rest, as she has played a lot over the past year and maybe needed a break. I didn’t notice anything hampering her too much to suspect a serious injury to cause her to miss any future tournaments. She hid it too well by playing some of the best tennis she’s played this year at the U.S. Open to think she was carrying a serious injury.
When I checked my phone this morning, I saw she tweeted, but didn’t think anything of it. I figured it was some random sad story from what I quickly saw of the tweets, as she does, on occasion, tweet random things that don’t have anything to do with her (see: Inside Out). I checked Twitter later and saw a message from someone saying he hoped she felt better soon. Then I saw part of the message and saw the words “doctor” and “US Open.” At that point I knew what it was going to say, but didn’t have the courage to read it. I wanted to spend a few minutes without fully knowing the extent. I was in a good mood, after all, following a good day of football (American) results. I didn’t want to crush that. And maybe it wasn’t serious. Maybe she’d just miss Beijing. At that point I didn’t know it was the knee, but I knew it’d finally say what was bothering her this summer. The thoughts of her being done for the year were worse than actuality of it when I read the statement. I was teary eyed at the thought, but I prepared myself well for the reality. There it was. She was out for the year.
What’s the outlook going forward?
Well, thankfully, she didn’t say anything about surgery. Maybe all it will take is a lot of rest and treatment. It’s hard to say with no specifics. I’m sure the doctors are some of the best and will guide her in the right directions to treat it. I hope they get it right for her knee to the best possible condition it can be in, so this issue doesn’t repeat itself, like it did this year, and she won’t miss any time next year due to it.
The one telling sign from Sabine’s statement is in the last sentence when she mentioned she might not be able to practice until next season. She didn’t make it sound like that was likely, but kind of as a last resort thing. If that’s the case, maybe she won’t be able to play early in the season next year, but I wouldn’t fret about that just yet. It’s just something to keep in mind.
As for her ranking, she’ll be lucky to be seeded at the Australian Open now. She needed to pick up some more points at the end of this season to give her some cushion to stay in the seeded range. Sabine has 1,598 points in the year to date rankings. Kuznetsova currently sits in 33rd position, 240 points behind. She very well may be able to stay seeded, even without gaining another point this season, but it’s reliant on others not performing well. One thing to keep in mind though is with Flavia Pennetta’s retirement at the end of the season, you can think of Sabine being one spot ahead of where she really is for next year, since Flavia will not be competing in 2016. That could make a difference and gives her a little more hope.
Although it sucks to not see her play again this year, I can’t help but feel this is the best time of the season for this to happen. She was only playing in two 280’s and a Mandatory. I don’t have a strong connection to these tournaments like I do most of the other tournaments throughout the year. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. And now I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night for her matches! I was looking forward to Hong Kong the most of any tournament the rest of the season and that hurts a bit, but it’s not devastating. I just wanted to see her back where she won last year and see if she could repeat. She probably wasn’t going to win anyway. And now she can stay undefeated there :p
It’s kind of an unique outlook the rest of the season. How will this change how much tennis I watch? No doubt I’ll be watching less WTA. Novak will have my undivided attention now, for once, which may be a good opportunity because I usually focus and keep up with Sabine a lot more (but only due to so many others keeping up with Novak). Given this has been such a successful year for Novak that may be nice to be able to cherish it more and watch him more closely.
The WTA outlook I think is more interesting though. How much will I watch my secondary favs, Simona and Elina? How behind them will I get now that I don’t have a fave above them in the tournament? For the first time really ever, I’ll be rooting for Simona to win tournaments without any restraint from the beginning of the tournament. See, I focus all my attention to Sabine first then the others. Now the others are first. That brings a new dynamic and is kind of interesting just to think about. It’s kind of nice because the pressure is off a bit. Maybe I’ll be able to enjoy tennis a little more now.
Since the news just broke today, I’m not sure what the early offseason for Sabine will bring. I obviously would like to do something special since we won’t see her for three months and we’ll miss her, but I’m not sure just yet. One thing I will have though is a recap of her season. I’ll put a little more thought into that and will post it at some point either before the WTA season is over or shortly thereafter. There’s kind of some wiggle room now. I know with little going on in the offseason it might be better at that point, but we’ll see how it fits.
Lastly, if anyone reading this has experienced an extended period of time without their fave, how was it? Did you watch as much tennis? Were you able to enjoy it more? I’d love to hear anything you have to offer on the subject 🙂