British number one Johanna Konta admits she could have to play through a knee problem for the rest of her career after originally ignoring the injury.
Konta has a tendon issue in her right knee that requires constant managing and saw the 30-year-old pull out of two Wimbledon warm-up events in Birmingham and Eastbourne.
That came after she won her fourth WTA Tour title by claiming the Viking Open in Nottingham earlier this month after playing five matches in six days, providing a timely boost ahead of her home grand slam, which starts on Monday.
“I think at the beginning I didn’t really acknowledge that there was something going on,” she said. “It took way too long on my behalf to address it properly and by that time it was a significant thing.
“Tendon issues, they’re not simple, they don’t follow any specific blueprint on rest, recovery, rehabilitation and then you’re back good to go, it’s basically just management.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like that. Knock on wood, I have been very lucky, I haven’t had any sort of injury which has needed surgery intervention or anything that has been very brutal that has properly kept me off court.
“This has been one of those things that I’ve had to train through and look to manage. It’s something I’ve had to get used to.
“Will it be part of the rest of my career? Possibly. I do think I definitely have more longer stretches of it being very good and pain-free.
“I wasn’t pain-free for the best part of two and a half years, so there are a lot of positive things.
“I do think I’m going to be managing this for quite some time. Hopefully I’ll kick it before I stop playing.”
Konta, who recently became engaged, says a lot of gym work is required to manage the issue, but she is not worrying about it flaring up during a match.
“It’s a managing thing,” she added. “I look to manage that I’m putting enough load through it, make sure all the muscles around it are strong enough, make sure I give it every opportunity to enable tendon repair, so I’m lifting very heavy – slow and heavy, that’s been the protocol for me with this tendon issue.
“Sometimes it is sore when I play matches, sometimes it isn’t. It depends where it is, how acute it is at the time.
“I don’t really look to expend any energy on fretting about it or worrying about it. I know I’m doing the work, I know I’m doing the best that I can.
“I’m giving myself every chance to be at my best when I step out onto the court.
“Even if I’m not, even if I’m short of that, or even if I’m there, then I just try to do my best to manage what I have on the day to be able to play the best that I can.”