Sam Querrey - The Art of a Comeback

In professional sports, comebacks can be exhilarating, awe-inspiring, frustrating, or disappointing. Sometimes, they can be inspirational.

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His time horizon for the second comeback had also matured.

“It’s going to take a year to get back to where I was,” he said. “I have had to learn to accept that.”

Sidelining injuries also have a way of teaching better respect for overall physical conditioning, and Querrey added a full-time physio to his team.

The consistent approach to fitness, and the one step, one match at a time approach turned out to be the best prescription for Querrey. At that same Los Angeles tournament, Querrey moved through the draw carefully and methodically and won the title handily.

As the season moved on, and Querrey gained confidence and strength, he started to achieve better and better results, coming full-circle in a remarkable way at the Paris Masters Tournament in early November 2012.

Querrey’s side of the draw included a match up with the number 1 player in the world, Serbian Novak Djokovic. Even on a bad day, Djokovic’s technique and firepower could overcome the best of players. So it went in the first set, which Djokovic won 6-0.

But the lesson that Querrey had had to learn over the past few years, the need for preparation and patience, took deep hold in the second set. He held the line, serving splendidly and challenging Djokovic’s sharp-angled shots with equally hard returns. Querrey’s mettle was tested in a tie-break, but his serves and shot placement got the better of Djokovic. Querrey won the second set and the third, clinching the match and putting the proverbial icing on the cake of the comeback he’d been working through all season.

We often equate our own comebacks with physical concerns: rehabbing from an illness or injury, putting the right scheduling and support concerns in place to help us get back in the “game.” But the physical side of a comeback is inextricably tied in with something else, something intangible but equally important. In order to affect a solid comeback, we have to take care of our “inside” selves, our spirits and emotions, and all those things that work for and against our coming back fit, sound, and strong.

Querrey’s lesson of acceptance and patience show that, the more we pay attention to and nurture our spirits, the more we’ll reap the benefits of all the hard work it takes to truly make a comeback.

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Maureen Pratt
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