***Katy Shulaeva, 23 years old, is one of Canada’s top women players. She reached a career high WTA ranking of 250 two years ago when she suffered a stress fracture in her right foot. The injury required surgery and now after twenty four months of heavy rehabilitation and training Katy continued her comeback attempt recently in a $25000 event in California. Unfortunately the pain in her foot returned, she had to withdraw before her second round match and is now back home in Oakville evaluating her future options.***
ONcourt: Katy, tell us exactly what happened?
Katy Shulaeva: My foot through great rehabilitation management by Dr Tony Galea and Denis Lindsey was feeling very good and it was solid when I played the two $9000 events in Ontario at Christmas time. In January, we really pushed the intensity of the training on and off court and put the foot through heavy stress. Just before leaving for California, the foot started aching and I felt maybe it was the sudden drop in temperature. I then embarked on a series of six tournaments to restart my career. Unfortunately the foot never started feeling better and in fact got so bad I had to default in the second tournament.
ONcourt: What will you do now?
KS: Dr Galea has requested a series of test which will provide us with the options available. The injury might be chronic which would force me to leave the sport. Right now I take it one day at a time, but I certainly am aware that this could be the end. My plan is to go through the next few months and see how the foot feels, stay in shape, keep up my tennis by helping some of the juniors at ACE and deal with the options when I have them clear.
ONcourt: What are your options if you leave competitive tennis?
KS: You know this has happened so quickly and I never thought that I would be doing anything but tennis for years to come. So I am lucky that while I take this period of time to evaluate my future, I’m getting the chance to work with some of the top girls at ACE Viktoryia Kisialeva, Evie Repic and Maria Patrascu. This keeps my game in shape and I can see whether I would want to stay into tennis or not.
ONcourt: Any other ideas?
KS: Actually I have always had a desire to open up a restaurant later on in life. I have already started looking into the options to get in the food and beverage industry, but first I want to be sure of my options. If the foot can heal, I am back, if not we will see then.