Season review

Season review

I guess having to withdraw from Beijing is an appropriate ending to a very disappointing season. This trip to Asia has been a big disappointment and I have struggled with my health pretty much since I arrived. I am sorry to my supporters who were hoping to see me play here in Beijing. It's very disappointing for me as well, to come here, see the amazing facility they have and not have the energy to be able to step onto court. I can only look forward to coming back here next year.

It's especially disappointing because I was hoping to be able to see some improvements before the season ended. I have gone through a lot of training and physical changes over the past few months, which have mostly remained private until now... My body is quite fragile at the moment, because I over-trained during the first part of the year. This was, I think, what caused me to have many small injuries this season.

Instead of being patient and accepting that my best form was almost impossible due to physical limitations, I was always over-thinking things, and I never dealt with it very well. The season was a continuation of going from one disappointment to another. If I had dealt better with these setbacks, I would have had a lot more success.

I also found it very tough to switch off and have a proper break over the past year or so, partly because of these physical problems. Actually, I don't think I can remember the last time I had a proper holiday: I was always doing some kind of fitness or recovery work during my holidays, and that meant that I wasn't able to switch off from tennis. I guess I just want it so badly.

As you may have noticed, I completely changed my serve after Wimbledon. This was because of my shoulder: if I continued serving and training the way I was, I would have almost certainly picked up a serious injury. My team and I are confident that I will be able to go back to my old service motion when I start practising again in November.

On the positive side, I am still No.11 in the world. I have no clue how I am ranked so highly, but to look on the bright side, I can't play any worse than I did this year and I'm still in the top 20!

I've learnt so much this year. It's a bit little bit like a few years ago, when I was ranked around No.14 for almost an entire year, and many people were asking me, "when are you going to reach the top 10?" Within a year I was there, and within two years I was No.1. Sometimes you have to go through these experiences in order to become a better player.

Despite my disappointments there is not a single doubt in my mind that I will reach the top again and win Grand Slams.

One other positive to come out of all this is that I realised what a great team I have around me: they never doubted me, they supported me so well and did everything they could to assist me. I am very grateful to them all: my family, coaches and management.

I have appointed a new fitness coach, whom I will tell you more about later. Over the next month or so I can have a great break. I can rest without thinking about any future tournaments, then train and practise hard for the new season.

I have a lot to look forward to. Now is the time to rest, recharge, and come back stronger.

Love
Ana

P.S. I'd like to thank my loyal supporters for their encouragement this year. The journey is never easy!