Hard Work Paying Off For Razzano
Published August 06, 2013 12:01
While the return of Martina Hingis may have dominated the press coverage, there was another comeback story emanating from Carlsbad that was every bit as inspiring.
Virginie Razzano has endured a trying few years both on and off the court, losing her fiancé and coach Stephane Vidal to a brain tumor and suffering a succession of injuries that have precipitated a slow slide down the rankings.
However, in Carlsbad, the Frenchwoman offered a timely reminder of the talent that took her to No.16 in the world in 2009, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova, Carla Suárez Navarro and Petra Kvitova during a run to the semifinals.
The key to this return to form: hard work and perseverance.
"The success is down to a lot work," Razzano said. "There is no secret. I didn't want to rush and say to myself, 'Okay, Virginie, you must make your comeback very quickly.'
"No. I took my time. I practiced a lot. I stayed focused on my job, working on my game and when I go on court trying to think I am a champion. And I am a champion, because it's not easy to comeback every time if you have some problems with injuries or pressures in life."
In addition to her personal heartache, Razzano has had her fair share of professional trauma too, most notably suffering a serious hip injury just after scoring the win of her career over Serena Williams at last year's French Open.
Fortunately, resilience is not a character trait lacking in Razzano's makeup. "I think I have a big character," she added. "I have a strong character and I'm never lying down. Every time, I get back up. It's life. You can't stay down. You must to go and move forward and do your job as best you can.
"That is how I have always felt. I don't think that, I would ever prefer to stop and say to myself, 'Okay, this is finished for you, Virginie.'"
Razzano's fighting qualities were on full display during her epic quarterfinal with Kvitova, where she fended off two match points before winning a final set tie-break after over three and a half hours on court.
Her run in California provided not only the required ranking points for a return to the Top 100, but also a source of inspiration for one of her rivals for the title.
"It's very inspiring what she does and I wish her well," eventual runner-up Victoria Azarenka said. "I don't think at these moments age makes a big difference.
"I think after what Virginie has been though over the last couple of years, it's remarkable that she is on the tennis court and having fun and fighting,"