She’s flirted with TV stardom, but Sabine Lisicki’s time in the studios has made her realise one thing – tennis remains her ultimate love.
Lisicki hasn’t played a competitive match since succumbing to a serious knee injury during her fourth-round exit at the US Open in September.
The 26-year-old’s recovery took longer than expected, and she used the time out to have some fun on German television, featuring in some quiz and cooking shows among other things.
But the joy she got from being on the box is nothing compared to what she feels out on the court.
“I was a bit nervous because you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of millions of people,” Lisicki said about her TV stint.
“In the beginning it’s fun. But then you start to go, ‘Hmm, I actually prefer to be on court’.”
Lisicki’s wish will be granted when she makes her playing return during the January 3-9 Hopman Cup in Perth.
The world No.32 will team with rising German star Alexander Zverev, with their first assignment against Australia Green team Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova on Sunday.
Long-term injuries aren’t a new thing to Lisicki, who spent five months out of the game in 2010 because of a serious ankle issue.
That long injury layoff and her recent knee troubles helped Lisicki rediscover her love of the sport each time.
“When you’re on tour for so long and play day in and day out, you kind of sometimes forget how good your life is in a way,” Lisicki said.
“We’re travelling so much. It’s jet lag. We live out of suitcases. We miss our friends and family.
“But you do find your love again (when you’re out injured). You appreciate it more.”
Lisicki knows it will take some time to get back into the groove of things.
But she’s hopeful she will have conjured up some degree of form in time for the Australian Open.