In October 2020, in an atypical edition of Roland Garros marked by the pandemic, Nadia Podoroska was enjoying the best moment of her sports career: she reached her first semifinals in a Grand Slam (she lost in two sets to the Polish Iga Swiatek, then champion) and she made history by becoming the first player to come out of qualifying to reach that instance on French brick dust. That result allowed him to jump 83 places in the ranking, from 131st to 48th and get into the top 50 for the first time). And she earned him, at the end of that season, the award as “Revelation of the Year” of the WTA. Today, Rosario lives a very different present. Because this Tuesday, she will play in the first round of the Wimbledon qualifiers, in which she will collide with the American asia muhammad167th.
What happened between that unforgettable performance in Paris and this qualifying debut for the British “great”? What is the reason for bassoon of Argentina? An injury that was difficult for her to identify – today she knows that it is a proximal tendinopathy of the hamstrings of her right leg – and that forced her to go through a long and hard recovery; but that she failed to break her spirit.
“Now I’m ready to go back.”told the santafesina, 177th in the world, three days ago in a publication on her Instagram account, in which she is seen very smiling, dressed in soft, on a grass court.
Podoroska’s nightmare began in March 2021, when she was competing in the Guadalajara, in which he lost in the second round. The little, then 46th in the WTA, had started her season without great results (the quarterfinals of a tournament played in Melbourne, in the run-up to the Australian Open, were her best production in the first two months of the year) and she wanted to be the protagonist again on Mexican soil. But there he began to feel a discomfort in the hamstringwhich he thought, at first, was one more pain than he usually feels.
“I don’t know if I can identify an exact moment when I said ‘I have a serious injury’. It was a pain that started very progressive. I thought it was a contracture, something very slight. I was playing in Guadalajara and I started going to the tournament kinesiologist to treat a mild, common pain. Then it just kept getting worse and worse,” she recounted in December in a video she shared on Twitter.
Despite not being one hundred percent physically, Podoroska decided not to stop. She like that she competed, without shining, sometimes with more and sometimes with less pain, for almost the entire season. He reached, for example, the round of 16 of the WTA 1000 Romewas far from repeating his performance at Roland Garros (he lost in his debut), reached the second round of Wimbledon and the round of 16 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic tournament and also fell in the first round of the US Open.
Despite not reaping great results, he still climbed a little higher in the ranking, helped a little by that special system that had been applied due to the coronavirus crisis and was still in force at that time. And on July 12, after her passage through the AELTCappeared 36th in the classification, its best historical position, which it held for a week.
But after his defeat in Flushing Meadowsspoke with his team and resolved not to play again until the pain subsided.
“I went through several stages of different aches and pains. At first it was a little bit in the hamstring, then the hip, then it went to my back or the sciatic nerve. That made it difficult to identify the injury, but it allowed me to continue playing and training. Although in the long run, I was able to train less and less. Until I had to stop, “said Rosario.
Podoroska and part of her team. “Their commitment strengthens me and gives me confidence that we are going to achieve it,” said Rosario. Photo Twitter @nadiapodoroska
New York’s first round loss to the Belgian Greet Minnen, 104th in the ranking, was his last official match. At the time, Podoroska was 37th in the world. But without action in the last months of the year, she closed 2021 in the 84th position.
In December, she said that she was “very motivated” because her recovery was progressing well and that her goal was to return to the Australian cement tour in January 2022. But a few weeks later, she announced that she would not play in Melbourne. Her absence from the ocean tournaments cost her place in the top 100: on January 31 she appeared 112th.
“Although in this time I learned to live and compete with pain, the recovery process to heal my body definitely requires more time,” he explained. And he shared the new plan: come back in March.
At the beginning of April, however, he confessed: “I continue to work hard, every day, to compete again. It is what I most want at this time of my day. It is not an easy goal. Different discomforts followed the injury that dragged and that’s why I couldn’t return in the time I expected”.
Optimistic as ever, she still chose to look at the glass as half full. “I always try to get the best out of not-so-good experiences. When I look around, I find people who want this wish to come true as much as I do. I know they are always there. The commitment of each one of them strengthens me and gives me the security of that we are going to achieve it,” he reflected.
Podoroska never lowered her arms and continued to work. Even when her recovery forced her to also drop out of the French Grand Slam, that tournament so special for her, that she had already fallen to the 143rd step of the ranking.
“I miss Roland Garros, one of my favorite tournaments, but every day I am one step closer to returning. There is no date yet, but I am very eager and working. There is less to go,” he wrote on Twitter on May 21, along with a video in which she is seen balling on brick dust.
A few days later, she dropped out of the top 150 (she appeared 158th). But she was right, it was less to compete again. On June 4 she announced that she would play an Interclube in Stuttgart, Germany, which as it was not an official tournament, she did not give her points, but it was her first step.
“How nice to feel this again! I started to go back“, commented, happy, after the debut. “I am very happy to return to step on a court in competition mode after so many months. It was a long time that I was away. Being here is already an achievement.”
And a few days ago, he said that the Wimbledon qualifier would mark his return to the professional circuit and that the wait was over. At last.