WASHINGTON (AP) — The worst part for
Jennifer Brady during her two years away from the
WTA Tour was not the injuries themselves — the fracture in her right knee or the tissue tear in her left foot — that caused the prolonged absence she finally ended Tuesday by overwhelming 28th-ranked Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 6-1 in the
the DC Open's first round.
It wasn't missing the competition or the camaraderie or the paychecks, either.
No, the most difficult aspect of it all, Brady said, was the uncertainty.
"I would wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, because I was thinking, ‘I don't know when I'm going to play again.' Or, ‘I don't know if I'm ever going to play again,'" the 28-year-old from Pennsylvania said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The unknown was so scary."
So the runner-up at the 2021 Australian Open and semifinalist at the 2020 U.S. Open was ready — more than ready — to smile and yell "Come on!" when she hit one last forehand to finish off the win over Kalinina at John Harris Court on a cloudy afternoon with the temperature in the low 80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s Celsius).