Daniel Altmaier on how battling injury fuelled his tennis passions
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 24/05/18 8:18am
When you spend months inside a gym fighting off niggling injuries , you get a lot of time to think.
Is it all worth it? Will I ever get back on court? Why don't I forget the aches and just play a match.
Germany's teenage tennis star Daniel Altmaier is closing on a return to the ATP circuit. The Sky Sports Scholar is taking nothing for granted...
"It's been a crazy few months since I played my first ATP Challenger Final at the beginning of February in Burnie in Australia.
Unfortunately a week after the final I had to retire due to an abdominal muscle strain and I was forced to fly home and get treatment.
An ab injury is also very painful because you can't rest it 100 per cent because you need our ab muscles in every movement we do during the day.
After four weeks I was feeling better and my team at the rehab centre was really confident I could come back and compete again.
So did I!
I flew to Qatar for a 15k Future event. But after my quarter-final I could feel my stomach injury again and I had to directly contact my coach. We decided that it was best to walkover from the event.
Me and my team knew it was getting really serious and we needed to take time off. It didn't matter how long it would take, I needed my body to recover well.
Our goal was to get myself as fit as possible on court again and not as fast as possible.
A break for close to two months was ahead of me.
It was a really hard time for me, especially from the mental aspect.
I had to accept everything, be patient and just be very professional over the recovery which is really tough for a professional athlete!
We are used to a clear schedule and a daily plan. Out of nowhere, I had free time and the only appointment I had every day was being at my physio and having a small gym session.
You actually learn a lot when you spend a lot of time off the court and during that time my passion for tennis just became bigger and stronger.
I couldn't wait to come back and get back to doing my job or business I've always been used to and what I love to do most.
And so as we come towards the end of May, I'm finally back at work.
I'm super happy and enjoying life free of pain because I took the time my body needed.
A lot of work and hours on court are ahead of me now and can't wait for competing soon because my life is geared towards winning matches and trophies!
I'm hoping to play at the Future Event in Germany on June 18 but we shall see. One step at a time.
I want to thanks my team and family who have been there for me every single moment during these not very easy times!