Just a day after mother of three Kim Clijsters, 36, shocked the tennis world by preparing for a comeback from retirement for the second time in her career, Moscow-born Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin announces a shocking return to the sport more than a decade after having to stop playing professionally because of a chronic back inflammation.
The 31-year-old Golovin explained that getting her body ready is progressing faster than expected, so her return is just around the corner:
The idea first took shape last year, but I started taking it more seriously since this summer. I began very serious physical training last month. The goal was to be ready for the start of next year, but things are moving quickly, and as of today, I’m planning to perhaps resume in mid-October.
Because of health issues, Golovin was forced to stop playing at the moment her career was seriously taking off at the age of 20. As a young player on the verge of a Top 10 debut, with two WTA titles and the 2006 US Open quarterfinal in her biography, Golovin disappeared from the WTA circuit, realizing that her ankylosing spondylitis and professional tennis couldn’t go together. More than a decade later, the chronic injury is manageable, although the pain is still there, as Golovin states:
I stopped because my body could no longer handle the requirements of high-level sport due to my injury. In the last 18 months, I have been asked on several occasions to talk about it, and in speaking with doctors, I learned that there were treatments that could possibly allow me to come back.
Golovin’s last match was back in May 2008, against Caroline Wozniacki in the first round of the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin. The Frenchwoman was then ranked No.21, her opponent No.38.
In the meantime, after a couple of highly-publicized relationships, Golovin settled with rugby player Hugo Bonneval, with whom she has two children: a daughter born in July 2015 and a son born in November 2017. When it comes to professional endeavors, Golovin’s relationship with tennis continued through her job as a commentator.