Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova feared her career was over

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova said on Monday that her knee injury was so severe that she “couldn’t walk or sit down” and even feared for the future of her career ahead of going under the knife.

From May of last year until January, the 31-year-old for French Open runner-up was sidelined for eight months, which caused her ranking to drop to No 333.

Pavlyuchenkova said that she had the greatest fears immediately after deciding to get surgery.

The former top ten player believes that surgery was the only way she would be able to return to the court.

“I was close to crying and also sad because I wasn’t sure what’s after. I wasn’t sure if I will never come back,” she said.

“I could barely jog or walk or sit down. It was just painful all the time. So that was definitely not a knee for a professional athlete. I had to make that decision. I had to go for it.”

After the procedure was finished last year, Pavlyuchenkova found the path to recovery through rehab also demanded much of her.

“There was a lot of rehab, but most importantly, I had to skip practice. I just had to stop because every time, obviously, on the impact I had a lot of pain,” she recalled.

“So I had to stop tennis completely. I didn’t touch my racquet for I think five months. They didn’t let me. Like, the doctors, I was begging them to just let me sit on the chair and hit some balls.

“My doctor in Munich told me, ‘No, no, no, I know how you guys do it. You sit for two minutes and then five minutes after you are running like this’. He is, like, ‘No, no, no’.”

The Russian finalist who lost to Barbora Krejcikova in the 2021 Roland Garros final had a difficult path to recovery.

She was forced to start again this spring on the lower-level ITF circuit, and she only managed to win one match on the main tour, in Madrid, earlier this month.

It was his first WTA Tour triumph since the Australian Open third round in January 2022.

She advanced to the second round of the Rome tournament after winning one match there before falling to world number one Iga Swiatek 6-0, 6-0. However, on Monday at Roland Garros, she regained her composure by defeating Czech youngster Linda Fruhvirtova 6-2, 6-2.

“My friends flew to Roland Garros to watch me. I stayed with them, and we did a lot of things that we wouldn’t be able to do. So they actually said, ‘It’s funny, we’re actually happy you’re not playing. Because then it’s like normal and we have been going out and doing things’,” she said.