Casey Dellacqua is eyeing a return to tennis nearly twelve months after suffering a concussion that forced her to step away from the game.
The French Open mixed doubles champion took a break from the sport in May following ongoing effects of a nasty fall at last year’s Beijing Open.
Dellacqua, 31, was left with severe headaches and neck pain but has finally shaken the physical effects and is hoping to be back on court after November.
“The physical symptoms have pretty much gone now. No more headaches, my neck’s improved, I’m feeling physically great,” Dellacqua told tennis.com.au.
“I think a lot of it now is mental, just making sure that I’m mentally ready.
“It’s not that I’ve got a fear of falling again – it’s just knowing that when I go back out there I’m ready to compete at the highest level.”
Dellacqua has spent time with a sports psychologist to overcome her mental demons.
“”I couldn’t go on my phone or watch TV, I was so sensitive to light,” she said.
“And I was just sleeping for ages.
“I had some pretty bad whiplash as well, from flinging my head back before I hit the ground.”
Dellacqua, a six-time grand slam doubles finalist, reached a career-high doubles ranking of world No.3 in early 2016 and got to No.26 in singles at the end of 2014.
“I’ve had so much success from early on to when the concussion happened that I hope it won’t take me long to get back to that position,” she said.
“Singles will be pretty tough for me, to be honest. I’m not entirely sure where my singles is headed.
“But doubles is certainly something that’s still on my radar … I can do well if all goes to plan.”
The West Australia played a handful of events after her fall, including Australia’s Fed Cup win over Slovakia in February, before taking the indefinite break..
Dellacqua has played one singles match since the fall – a straight sets loss to Bulgarian world No.105 Tsvetana Pironkova in March.