“I Couldn’t Break Any Tennis Records”: Wrist Injury Brings Alexandr Dolgopolov’s Career to a Premature End

Published 05/01/2021, 10:38 AM EDT


Ukrainian tennis star Alexandr Dolgopolov has announced his retirement from professional tennis at a relatively young age of 32. An accomplished clay-courter, Dolgopolov finished with three career Tour titles, two of which were won on soil.

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A quarter-finalist at the 2011 Australian Open, his best run in a Grand Slam event, the Ukrainian said though he broke nor set any tennis records, he hopes he’s given his fans joy with his tennis.

“I hope I was fun to watch. I never broke any tennis records, but I hope I played entertaining tennis for fans,” said Dolgopolov as he took his curtain call.

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Alexandr Dolgopolov says he still feels pain from the injury he sustained in 2018

It turns out that the 32-year-old wasn’t able to make a full recovery from a wrist injury that he’d sustained in May 2018 and it eventually hastened the end of his career.

Opening up on the injury which cut his career short, the Ukrainian said he sustained at practice for the 2018 Australian Open. He said though there was pain initially, he didn’t think much of it. 

However, the pain persisted long after his third-round exit at the Australian Open, and even two surgeries couldn’t fix it.

“My wrist injury happened in Australia (three years ago) after mis-hitting a return in practice. I felt pain but nothing serious”, the Ukrainian said, adding, “I reached the Australian Open third round and returned to Europe, but I never realized that it would be career-ending.”

Dolgopolov says even two surgeries couldn’t fix his injury

Dolgopolov said he underwent two surgical procedures in two years, but the pain still didn’t go away.

“I’ve tried for a couple of years, had two surgeries and I still have pain,” the 32-year-old revealed.

Reflecting on his career, the Ukrainian said his mood and fatigue often prevented him from playing at his best, but when he had the desire to compete, he almost inevitably had results in his favor.

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“If I wanted to compete, I always had good results at the start of the year. It was the will to fight to compete and sometimes that didn’t happen,” said Dolgopolov, in a frank assessment of how his career went.

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Australian Open 2020 – Injured Players List

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However, at his best, the Ukrainian was a skilled technician on the court, often leaving his opponents in stunned amazement with some unbelievable shot-making.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

859 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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