Will Vera Zvonareva be able to return to anywhere close to her previous form prior to her injury? This is the question that is asked when her name is mentioned. Vera Zvonareva was one of the best tennis players in the world as recently as 2011 when she was ranked seventh in the world. However, in 2012 this Russian star was beset by both injury and illnesses for the first half of the Women’s Tennis season.
Her illness became so severe that she was forced to withdraw from the rest of her tournaments from July to the end of the season in November to recuperate. In 2013 an injury to her right shoulder required surgery and she was forced to miss the entire year. If she is able to return by the beginning of January 2014 that will be almost 18 months without having played competitive tennis.
During her time away from the game Vera Zvonareva returned to school and earned her degree in International Economic Relations and she intends to continue her education while playing. Zvonareva has always been a talented player but she will be attempting to regain her playing form after 18 months away from the game. Most professional tennis players are unable to stay away a week from hitting a tennis ball and consider a month without tennis almost a punishment.
Vera Zvonareva has not hit a ball for over a year and a half and she has found something else that interests her. Successful professional athletes are usually tunnel vision individuals and when they start looking at different career options it is usually a sign that their career is winding down and they are preparing for their next career. The question many in the tennis community are asking is whether Vera Zvonareva will she still possess the competitive drive that enabled her to achieve success as a professional?
Vera Zvonareva will soon be thirty years old and has earned over $13 million over the course of her career. She will be starting from the bottom of standings in order to regain her ranking and that means she will encounter some of the toughest draws against women who have been working out during the time she has been unable to play.
If Zvonareva decides to return to tennis she will have to rededicate herself completely to the game because she will literally be swimming upstream trying to compete against the younger players of today. Vera Zvonareva has a very difficult decision to make in 2014. One cannot compete with the best tennis players in the world unless they are completely committed because there is so little difference between the top players.
On any given week a player such as Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova, the best players in the world can be beaten by someone of a much lower ranking. These players are the people who are focused on rising up the rankings and it is them who will be competing against her. Vera Zvonareva must decide whether she is going to return to professional tennis or pursue her academics. At this stage of her career it will be almost impossible to do both successfully because she lacks game fitness and her game will be rusty because she has not played competitively for so long.