Samantha Stosur has informed the officials of the All-England Club that she will miss Wimbledon due to a stress fracture in her right hand.
At 33, it must pain her to pull out, as realistically, it is hard to say how many more opportunities she will have in the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament.
Stosur had played in the tournament for 15 consecutive years and overall, had played in 37 straight Grand Slam events.
Stress fractures, such as the one Stosur has in her right hand, are one of the trickiest injuries with which to deal for anyone. She hits her forehand with her right. More than one athlete has chosen to ignore the injury, much to their eventual chagrin. Others have never recovered fully.
She does express hope that she will be ready for the final Grand Slam of the season, the U.S. Open, which she won in 2011, a victory that had to be all the more satisfying, coming, as it did, against Serena Williams.
Her skipping Wimbledon means that now there is only one seeded Australian woman in the draw, Daria Gavrilova. The timing is interesting, since it was Gavrilova who dethroned Stosur as the number one ranked Australian woman, a position Stosur occupied for nearly nine years.
The injury forced her to withdraw in the midst of the French Open, following a third-round victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The French Open is the only other Grand Slam where Stosur was able to get into the latter stages when she made the final, losing to Francesca Schiavone.
Her only Grand Slam win on home soil came in 2005, when she partnered with Scott Draper to win the mixed doubles.
Originally, the injury was thought to have been muscle damage between her fingers, but additional medical scans revealed bone fractures, which is not improbable by any stretch, given the force with which she strikes the ball.