Sam Stosur has opened up on the heartbreaking dilemma of being away from her new baby for months in order to make her return to the WTA Tour.
After spending all of 2020 in Australia through the COVID-19 pandemic, Stosur is preparing for her comeback to the tennis circuit after she overcomes a niggling foot injury.
The 37-year-old was targeting a return at the French Open next week, but has since announced she won't be heading to Paris after all.
Stosur said on Wednesday that she suffered the injury about seven weeks ago and it had taken longer than expected to heal.
"I took quite a long time to get better - longer than what we all thought so unfortunately I will miss one of my favourite events in the French Open this year but looking forward to getting started on the grass," Stosur said on Wednesday.
"It will be my first match in a long time; since the Aussie summer."
Stosur will now aim to make her return in time for Wimbledon and the other grass-court tournaments in the UK, as well the Tokyo Olympics in late July.
She also revealed to Wide World of Sports that she probably won't come home after the Olympics and is planning to stay overseas until after the US Open in September.
That would mean more than four months away from partner Liz Astling and their baby daughter Genevieve - who was born last June.
"I don't know [how I'm going to cope]. I'm worried about it," Stosur told Craig Gabriel on Wednesday.
"It's going to be very different. I haven't experienced this real bubble life yet. This is my first trip overseas in a long time, but it is what it is. You've got to deal with it; get used to it.
"It's going to be very, very hard getting on that flight leaving home, but I've made the decision to go. I want to go away and compete and play again and that's just the way it is."
Sam Stosur staving off retirement for now
The 2011 US Open champion said she felt she still had something to give to the tennis tour.
"I want to go out there and see what I can do this year," she said.
"It is very different circumstances, it will be very hard to leave home, but I figure if I don't do it now I'm pretty much retired so I've got to go and do this year and hopefully next year can be kinder to everyone on the travel front.
"I'll be away for four to four-and-a-half months... but obviously if things change or depending how things are going, you can always jump on a plane."
A benefit of remaining in Australia is that she was able to get her COVID-19 vaccination which was offered to all prospective Olympians.
The World No.133 is currently ranked fourth among Australia's women, so her best chance is playing women's doubles (where she is the top-ranked player), and mixed doubles (where she made the Australian Open final with Matt Ebden).
"I'm still very, very keen to try and get there and the lists and cut-offs will be happening quite soon so hopefully I can sneak into the event," the former World No.4 said.
"A fifth Olympics is something I'd be very proud of."
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