The United States' top female player, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, had to pull out of the Mercury Insurance Open and the Rogers Cup to give a shoulder injury a chance to rest and heal.
She hopes to return for the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio; a required WTA premier event. She has been working with fitness trainer Jay Schroede and injury specialist Dr. Malcom Conway on recovery, according to her agent.
"The hard part is knowing that I have a small tear in the right Supraspinatus and it really only bothers me at certain times. The fact that I have to think about it during certain shots makes it even more uncomfortable,” Mattek-Sands said, hoping to make a return to the court.
“I still am out practicing each day, but most of my practice is done left handed. I still work on all my movement drills and so on which is continuing to make me a better player each day. Let’s hope this week goes well and I am able to string some days together without the pain."
"I believe at least a few matches in Cincinnati and Dallas would be ideal for me to get ready for the US Open in order to have a strong showing in New York," World No. 31 Mattek-Sands added in a statement.
The 26-year-old has dealt with several injuries in the past and admitted to Tennis Now that dealing with staying healthy is one of the hardest parts of being an athlete.
Commenting on dealing with her injury, she said back in March that, "It always bothers you I think. Every single player playing has something that they could legitimately withdraw from a match from. Everyone is dealing with pain, dealing with injuries whether they're old or new so that's what just happens when you are a professional athlete."
Due to her absence and Serena Williams' success at the US Open series, she could have the potential to lose that top American spot. If Williams wins the Rogers Cup, she could pass Mattek-Sands.
If Williams makes to to the finals, she will be 30 points behind her sister Venus, who is 21 points behind Mattek-Sands.
Mattek wrapped it up today by saying, "I have to give myself the best opportunity to perform at that high level that is needed to win and right now that means more treatment and some rest."