"As tendonitis in my right knee has worsened...I have made a decision to decline the singles wild card that I was granted at the Cincinnati Masters..." , Jared Donaldson had made his statement due to his knee ailment.
He was ranked no. 61 last year and played at the Toronto Masters losing to Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round. But that was only the start of knee issues and as he'd lay in a hospital bed now recuperating from knee surgery, thoughts might be running through the mind of his Cincinnati hardcourt four years ago and making the quarterfinals last year.
Donaldson was squeezed out of getting to the semifinals by John Isner in two straight sets. The previous NextGen player had done a lot in his career so far with reaching the top 50 ATP rankings and qualifying for the NextGen ATP Finals.
But last year's Wimbledon was his 'wake up' call and a change in his professional tennis career. He was practising with Australia's Matthew Ebden when he started getting pain in his knee. He overlooked it, thinking it was just an occupational hazard thing.
But it was during the first round play that the pain intensified and the second round with Stefanos Tsitsipas became unbearable. Retiring wasn't something he wanted to do but had to. Donaldson had said to the ATP.com media that "pulling out never crossed my mind...I guess it did a little bit, but I never thought it would be detrimental...at that point, the damage had probably already been done..."
The 2108 season had Jared Donaldson plagued with nagging off/on knee issues. Frustrations mounting he played four tournaments this year and between Delray Beach, the only thing left was to get the surgery and be done with it.
Days ago that's exactly what the former 'My Tennis Life' star did. Donaldson's ATP rankings had dropped to the 200s leaving a strong indication that he was going in the right direction with having the operation.
Recuperation and therapy would be the progression and to work on getting back on tour. It was on social media that he'd said "Underwent right knee surgery...thanks to Dr Mark Safran and the @SU_SportsMed staff for taking such great care of me.
Looking forward to starting rehab in the coming weeks" The knee injury, patellar tendonitis which lead to the surgery isn't strange for unfortunately this is the route that many professional tennis players go through.
It was three years ago Roger Federer had to undergo knee surgery for a torn meniscus. Germany's Andrea Petkovic had a similar surgery as well as Brian Baker the same year. It was over ten years ago Michaelia Krajicek had meniscus surgery in 2005 and was out for three months.
Recently it was Juan Martin del Potro's knee surgery a few months ago and Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Miami Open because of knee ailments. The list goes on and on but what Jared Donaldson can be optimistic about is nearly all players have returned and some to capture a title.
There is many a positive at getting surgery and every player wants that doubt of pain return and retirements to be wiped away. Jared Donaldson is no different and is strongly focused on doing the therapies to come back even stronger and more able to play pain-free and get back to his passion of possibly earning his first title in a rather challenging and continuous career as a professional tennis player.