Saying “Athletes never give up”, Bojana Jovanovski gave an in-depth interview for a Serbian web magazine, revealing that despite three difficult surgeries and a lengthy recovery process, she has no intention of putting tennis, her biggest love, aside. After Roland Garros 2016, the former world No.32 practically disappeared, as the only major update we had about her life was the news about her marriage in November.
The Tashkent and Baku champion talks about what she’s been up to: she now studies psychology in Belgrade and is serious about building her tennis comeback — on April 15th she flies to Sharm El Sheikh to play an ITF event. It will be her second tournament since the French Open two years ago, as she also played the qualifying of St. Petersburg in late January 2018, where she lost her opener to Oceane Dodin in straight sets.
Just a year and a half after turning pro, Jovanovski entered the Top 50, but already by the time she reached her career-time ranking of No.32, serious injuries crept in. The Serb decided to keep going and for two years she was playing despite immense pain, but matches and practice sessions only aggravated her injuries and now she realizes it would’ve been wiser had she stopped then and treated her conditions on time.
After surgeries on her wrists and right shoulder in Barcelona, Jovanovski expected a fast recovery, but it turned into a grueling process — for two months she couldn’t even lift her arms, so she wondered whether she would ever be able to function normally, even in everyday life. After seven months of two therapies per day, Jovanovski was able to slowly get back to training. Due to the long period of inactivity, even those short and careful practice session sometimes caused minor injuries, so Jovanovski felt like she was in a vicious circle.
The 26-year-old decided to put her mind off the difficult situation by studying psychology at the University of Belgrade. Work discipline has always been a part of Jovanovski’s life, so getting through a tough competition at the entrance exam was not a big problem. Her experience in sports has helped her overcome all the obstacles she faced in her new endeavor.
Ahead of the tournament in Sharm El Sheikh, Jovanovski says that she would like to return better than ever and have at least one whole season without injuries. She’s aware that psychology studies will have take the backseat because of tennis, but the sport has always been her priority, especially because college will always be there, while you can be a professional athlete only until a certain age.
Jovanovski finished the interview by saying:
My body can’t put up with six hours of training, but now I am much stronger mentally and I will do everything to achieve my goals both in tennis and at the university.
Good luck, Bojana! I’m so glad to see your career is not over! I hope your body will stay strong, as you’re still young enough to realize your potential.