2011 was supposed to be a breakout year in my tennis career. I finished 2010 as the top-ranked American behind only Andy Roddick and ranked 18th in the world. I was in London preparing for Wimbledon when I hit a serve and my elbow stiffened up and I felt a sharp pain down my arm. I had an MRI that day and immediately knew my injury was serious. Within a few days, I flew back to New York to see Dr. David Dines at HSS.
At that point, Dr. Dines was the only doctor I would’ve turned to. We’ve had a long standing relationship as we met in Belgium when I was a 16-year-old hitting partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team and he was the team’s physician. We developed a close relationship over the years, and Dr. Dines even advised me when I was debating whether to go to college or turn pro. I knew I could depend on him to help me return to playing tennis as quickly and safely as possible.
Dr. Dines recommended surgery on my elbow right away. Initially I was disappointed because it meant I would have to miss Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, but Dr. Dines made me feel confident in the recovery and rehab plan that we put together.
Weeks after surgery I already felt an improvement in my elbow. Dr. Dines and the HSS staff prepared me physically and mentally throughout the whole process. I knew I had the best team of doctors, which allowed me to stay positive and motivated to get back on the court.
After stepping back on the court for the first time in five months, I felt as healthy as ever, thanks to Dr. Dines. I feel lucky to have such a strong relationship with him that remains to this day. Because of HSS, I look forward to continuing to chase my Grand Slam dreams.