An ailing shoulder may cause most tennis players to avoid stepping on the court but for Shivika Burman,it is a niggle that she has forced herself to play with.
On Monday,as she partnered Nidhi Chilumula for a 6-2 6-1 victory in her doubles opening match of the Delhi ITF Futures against Amrita Mukherjee and Shreya Pasricha,Shivika managed to hold her game together despite what she herself calls a half serve. I am not able to put all my strength in my serve. It looks a bit awkward because I am doing more of a half serve, she said of the injury which forces her to start her right arm from not below the waist but from around shoulder level.
It didnt help,however,in the singles,as Shivika went down 7-6 6-2 to Ratnika Batra despite serving for the first set at 5-3. Once I made a few errors and lost the first set,it was very hard to stay in the game. Ratnika was chasing everything I sent down and pushed her game hard, said the 22-year-old Burman,who is coming into the tournament after a four month lay-off.
In fact,she had been carrying the niggle for much of last year,exacerbating it after winning a Futures in Djibouti her biggest win so far. I was performing my best at that point. I had won the grass court nationals and had reached the quarter-finals of the Open Nationals. I had also played a couple of close games against players raked around the 100-mark, she says.
The injury ruled her out for the rest of the season with a muscle tear as well as a loose bone spur. She,however,has so far refrained from surgery. A doctor has told me I needed surgery but I have decided to try and get by on physiotherapy and it is working so far. My shoulder still hasnt recovered and I am not going to be 100 percent for some time. Right now it is all about managing my injury. I will probably have to change my serving action also, she says.
But she still insisted on participating in both the singles and doubles here despite the danger of aggravating her injury. I want to get as much match practice as possible. There is another Futures tournament here after a week and I am hoping my shoulder will recover enough by then, she says.