Daily Tennis News Wire -
Yaroslava Shvedova's two-year journey back to the Roland Garros quarterfinals was an arduous one, but the Kazakh never gave up hope and now after upsetting defending champion Li Na, she should find her way back into the top 100 and into relevance.
The talented 24-year-old cracked the top 30 after reaching the last eight in Paris in 2010 and then at least in singles, fell off the map.
She was able to play standout doubles with Vania King, winning two Grand Slam doubles titles. But a series of injuries found her outside of the top 200 in singles at the start of this season.
"In the beginning of 2011 and after my first match, I had injury and I had surgery right after Australia," she recalled. "After surgery I was recovering very long and I come back and my knee was bothering me for half year. And then my coach left, and I had some tough periods mentally, as well, and I was very down and lonely. Playing doubles and lost all my singles points. Since like September I got a new coach [Argentine] Emiliano Redondi , and he helped me out a lot. For this year we set a goal to get my ranking back, and I was working hard. I had a great team around me and working with psychologist and everything, fitness coaches, and I am very thankful to my team. It's not only my work, it's teamwork."
Shvedova made a mistake in trying to come back from a knee injury at the start of 2011. She decided to play Hopman Cup and clearly her body was not ready. She twisted her knee in a match against Ana Ivanovic in her first match but thought that she was OK. She wasn't.
"I was like scared and I checked my knee," she said. "It was fine. I finished the match. I finished the mixed. Next day I had a day off, and I had small, similar motion like of twisting. And then after this motion, I couldn't walk. Like my coach said, 'Oh, sit down, maybe wait.
Still I couldn't. Like in one hour they made an MRI for me, and they said I turned my meniscus."
Even though Shvedova still had a measure of success in doubles last year, her singles ranking was so low that she couldn’t even get into the qualifying at Indian Wells and Miami this year, so she decided instead to play ITF Futures in Mexico. There, she reached a final and won a tournament and began to rediscover her confidence. Now she is ripping the ball. She qualified at Roland Garros and has won four matches to bring herself back into the quarterfinal against Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
She credited Argentine Redondi for helping get her back on track.
"At the US Open last year I was talking to my manager, and we were trying to choose the coach," she said. "We sit down and we talk a lot, and she said she heard a lot of good things about him. And he was. He's a great person and a great coach. And I decide to try, and he come to Asia. I had no problem to travel or to try new things. He asked me to come to Buenos Aires, and I come without a problem. And we make a good team with fitness coach and the physio."