After a career built from the Challenger rung and with multiple ups and downs in the form of injury and frustrations, few could imagine that James Duckworth he would reach his best ranking as a professional in 2020. It was last February, just after reaching the first semifinals of his elite life in Pune. However, being one step away from the top70 would only be a mirage regarding what would come next. And then nothing would come, since the coronavirus pandemic was going to stop the entire circuit completely. But the Australian has not stood still, he focused it as an opportunity to go through the operating room and resolve an injury that had been giving him war for several months.

“It is a little different from my other seven operations,” declares the current No. 83 in the world for ATP. “We really don’t know what we’re preparing for right now. I’m being a little bit more conservative than before in my rehab, I’m not in a hurry to compete again. We are trying to follow the right steps when it comes to recovery, make the area as strong as possible, and hopefully reduce the pain a bit when the season starts, ”confesses the Sydney.

For Duckworth, fear has not existed for a long time, it is not the first time that he has undergone treatment like this. Not much less. Few active players can say that they carry up to eight operations on their bodies. The latter, however, was not entirely convinced. “I wouldn’t have done anything if it weren’t for the coronavirus, really. I would have kept fighting the pain, like I’ve been doing all these months. At the same time, if he hadn’t done something with his shoulder now, he could have paid for it later, when the competition came back. It may not work in any of the ways, but my mentality is that at least I have tried something different ”, he points out with caution.

After three operations on the elbow and another three standing, this time he played the second on the shoulder. “I have been through many long phases where I couldn’t jump or fight as the situation required, times when I wasn’t sure if I could move on. My father is a surgeon and knows the world of medicine well, nor was he sure if my last foot surgery would work. I was quite nervous in case I didn’t recover from that one, although I didn’t have many options either. Fortunately, I never went through a stage where I thought everything was overBut there were times when I thought it could lead to serious problems in the future. “

James Duckworth’s operating history. Source: ATP

His fight finally had a prize in 2020, seeing himself with a gap among the best, much more merit after having gone through so much anguish. But it was precisely those experiences that always ended up giving James air, pushing him to trust in a penultimate time that would allow him to meet with the greats. “I have been through this kind of situation sometimes, because of complicated surgery. It is in those periods when you realize how grateful we must be for playing this sport and going out there to have fun with the competition. Since I made my return in 2018, I never took anything for granted again, I can assure you that, “concludes the survivor.