Jamie Hampton's last WTA match was a win. It came in January at the 2014 ASB Classic, where Hampton beat her compatriot Lauren Davis, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, to advance to her fifth WTA semifinal. But the 25-year-old American, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 24, hasn't played a match since. She was forced to withdraw from her semifinal against Venus Williams due to a hip injury. That injury would end up triggering a total six surgeries in the last 18 months, leaving the young American's future on the tour in a state of the unknown.
WTA Insider caught up with Hampton from her home in Boca Raton, Florida, where she continues to rehabilitate her body after a second surgery on her right hip.
WTA Insider: Have you been keeping up with what's been happening on tour?
Hampton: I'm not totally engaged in everything. It's a little painful to watch all of it and not be a part of it. I do know some of the results and when it's on TV I will watch it.
WTA Insider: Let's get right into it. What's your status these days?
Hampton: I was trying to start playing by April but obviously that didn't happen. It's hard to say that I'm going to be back and then not make it. Now I'm just taking the approach day-by-day and see where I'm headed. Right now I'm still having problems with my right hip from my first hip surgery, and I had a second hip surgery on that as well. It went better than the first one but still not good enough for professional tennis. I've been struggling with that and trying to get a lot of different opinions. As far as playing tennis this year, it's probably not going to happen.
WTA Insider: Walk me through your last 18 months.
Hampton: I've had a total of six surgeries. My right hip, my left hip, my left Achilles, my right elbow, my right Achilles, and my right hip done again. My left side of my body is great, it's been nothing but smooth sailing. The right Achilles started to have problems when I was on crutches for my left Achilles. My right hip I had to have a revision because I had a lot of scar tissue built up. My right hip and my right Achilles have been my main problems.
WTA Insider: This may be a loaded question, but how are you feeling about all this?
Hampton: Yeah, that is a loaded question. It's a part of life. It's a lesson that I've had to learn unfortunately this way. I can't control everything. As much as I'd like to start playing, things are out of my control. All I can do is the best that I can and exhaust my resources and get the best opinions and make the best decisions that I can. Some things just don't happen, as much as I try to do the right things and work hard. Sometimes it just doesn't happen.
WTA Insider: Have you come to terms with that? Or are you coming to terms with that?
Hampton: I think I'm definitely still coming to terms with it because this is not over yet. I am going to fight like hell to play again. If I did have another surgery that would be a lot for one body part, especially if it was the hip. It's a pretty traumatic thing. It's a pretty big surgery. If it's something a little bit different I would feel differently about it. When you've been under the knife that many times...Maybe at the end of the day all I am going to do is wait. Play the waiting game, wait for six months, and see how my body responds. It's been through a lot of trauma.
WTA Insider: So what do your days consist of?
Hampton: My days normally consist of going into rehab. I love tennis so much so I do want to just hit a ball and be happy again. To have those good memories and good feelings again. It's limited. I can only do an hour. At one point I could hit for two hours. But it comes with pain and I can't do as much as I'd like. From there I do a little physical therapy
WTA Insider: Have you been doing anything away from the tennis court and rehab to fill your time?
Hampton: I haven't taken any classes. My mom has been pushy about that. She's like "Do something in your spare time." I'm like "No, tennis is not over."
WTA Insider: Is a part of that because you want to keep both feet in the tennis world and not give yourself a possible out?
Hampton: Exactly. I'm very all about tennis right now still. My coaches will send me videos that I need to watch on serving, because Lord knows my serve was all out of sorts. I'm connected, obviously, and I like to watch it and follow it and stuff. The support that I have from my coaches and people who are very understanding has really helped me through this process. While it's been very very hard for my body, it's been very difficult for me mentally and emotionally.
WTA Insider: Any message you have for your fans? I have to say, they ask about you a lot.
Hampton: Tell them I love them and that if I had answers for them I would gladly give them. But unfortunately I don't. But I'm still all about tennis and I'm still trying, so it's definitely not over.