Comeback or retirement?
Wait—have I just made my comeback, or am I about to retire from tennis? Based on the media coverage I’ve gotten in the last few weeks, it’s hard to tell.
Let’s set the record straight:
Yes, I lost my first two matches in the US.
Yes, I then injured my wrist and had to pull out of my last match in Miami.
Yes, it was disappointing, but not “devastating” or “a catastrophe” as the more sensationalist media outlets say.
No, it’s not a serious injury: an inflammation and a neuro-muscular problem in my hand. An infiltration, ultrasound, and TECAR therapy should take care of it. With a little luck, expect to see me at the Monte Carlo Open two weeks from now.
No, I’m not about to retire. Far from it.
I wrote in a previous post here that as an athlete coming back from almost a year of being injured, my first priority was just to get back in the game. I know it’s not a big, sexy statement. That something more grandiose like, “I want to come back and be the best, the champion, the greatest of all time” would make for a better headline.
And sure, obviously I’d have loved to come back with a bang and win every match.
But, the reality is, after so long off the court, I expected a bit of a slow start. While a little discouraging, the truth is, I was (and still am) thrilled to be back. It sounds like BS, but I actually felt good after losing my second match in Phoenix, because I played better and felt stronger.
At the end of the day, I see my biggest competitor as myself. As long as I’m doing better than a previous version of me, it feels like a win. This comeback looks like a failure from the outside, I get it. But for me, the simple fact that I’m back and feeling good is a victory.
And that’s why I found it really disheartening to see headlines like “Is the end near for Monfils?” or “Despite the best of intentions, Gaël Monfils can’t pull it off”, etc.
You can say I played like crap, or that I messed up my comeback, fine. But don’t paint me as something I’m not—demoralized, done, ready to quit—just to get more clicks.
I’m fine, I’m recovering, nothing’s broken.
I’m sad I had to cut my US trip short, but I enjoyed the time I did spend on the court, even if it didn’t end with a trophy.
As always, I’m happy I get to enjoy some bonus time with my wife and daughter. (Skaï says hi, by the way.)
And finally, even if I’ve lost, I’m not ready to quit yet. There is always another match ahead. So as I always say, on to the next one.
Until next time,