It might have been the worst of times when Vasek Pospisil had to finally get back surgery last year for a herniated disk. He sustained the injury at the Paris Masters tournament in 2018 and knew the operation to be the only relief for pain and to continue his career.
He returned after the operation six months later to one of the best events he loved and that was the 2109 Wimbledon Championships. "Wouldn't want my comeback tournament to be any other than Wimbledon. So happy to be back and grateful for being healthy..."
he stated proudly. Pospisil's journey from surgery back on tour might have been painstaking but the result was far more than he could ever envision. In August he would defeat 9th seeded Karen Khachanov at the US Open and then in November he'd lead Canada to their first Davis Cup Final.
Today in 2020, he's in the top 100 ATP ranking. Pospisil is finding a happier time pass the viral outbreak that's put tennis on a lockdown. When this health issue started and Indian Wells had to be the first tournament cancelled, the Canadian was in California for a while when he heard the devastating news.
"There was a lot of confusion...it was absolute chaos", he commented on a 'Beyond the Baseline' episode with host Jon Wertheim. Vasek has since taken things in stride and lightly says that "I haven't hit a ball since Indian Wells and I don't know when the next one will be..."
The mood of all had turned gloomy as tournaments and events had to be postponed or cancelled with fans and the tennis community wondering when they'd see or hear from the players again. The ATP and WTA had gotten together with a new podcast 'Tennis United'
It was started in April and it's hosts are: Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vasek Pospisil. The podcast is in its 4th episode and talks on activities players have developed since the lockdown; games, quizzes and an array of topics discussed.
Pospisil's one thing to improve on his own status was his food preparations and says "I've never cooked. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm trying to eat healthy but it's not easy." Despite learning to do other things while tennis competition isn't an option, many are feeling like Pospisil had mentioned: "It's kind of a tough time..."
Several have picked up other hobbies as workout videos or writing blogs. Some have tried cooking while many are just wanting the pandemic to be over and to have tournaments resume. Several players are starting to face financial hardships which have driven some to look for alternative employment.
Many have lost a bit of that drive and have slowed down working out for a while. It's different when the schedule is set and everyone knows what tournament they'll play and won't but now things are still undecided until the end of the pandemic or year--whatever comes first.
Pospisil says he went through much of that in healing from back surgery and admits: "the hardest thing for me was not being able to do what I love..." He speaks a bit about motivation saying "If you're still intending to play tennis after this break...I feel like that should be enough to motivate you to come back strong."
It may be for most, but when the season resumes, the tennis community may have lost some players and coaches to other jobs that are literally paying their bills and supporting them in the meantime.