So, back in 2004 I had pretty much a trifecta of setbacks.
I first broke my neck, which was the best thing that happened to me that year, and I’ll
explain that in a minute.
I was on a practice court in Rome and pretty much slid headfirst into a net post and fractured
C7 in my spine and got to the hospital and eventually got home.
When I got home to Connecticut it was the last six weeks of my father’s life.
He had been suffering from stomach cancer and ended up passing away.
So that’s why I say breaking my neck was the best thing that happened to me, because I
got to be home with my dad and spend that time with him and say all the things that
needed to be said to him.
他不让我回家 否则的话 我觉得我回不了家 因为我
And he wouldn’t have let me come home otherwise I don’t think, because I would’ve still been
还在征途之中 还在打球 还在竞赛
on the road and playing and competing.
So that was the best thing that happened to me.
And after that—stress has an amazing way of bearing itself physically on me and it
还使我起了疱疹 带状疱疹 它感染了我的面部神经
created a zoster, which is shingles, and it attacked my facial nerves so the left side
所以我的左半边脸瘫痪了 我失去了平衡 并且听力和视力都部分受损
of my face was paralyzed and I lost my balance and part of my hearing and part of my eyesight,
so I was pretty much struggling and didn’t know if I would ever play tennis again, and
the doctors weren’t sure if I would ever play, so that’s where setting goals day by day was
so important to me.
Because if I thought about any sort of playing in the US Open or getting back and being top
ten in the world, top 20 in the world, anything like that, it would’ve seemed so far away.
And I think I would’ve gotten a little depressed.
I would’ve been upset about the fact that I was so far away from that.
So all I did was every day think about what I can do a little better.
I would try to move my eye a little bit more or try to be able to smile a little bit more
and go out on the court.
The first times I went out on the court it was really just being able to see the ball
when I tossed it up to serve, it was just spending five minutes on the court with my
coach and just seeing if I could actually make contact with the ball.
第二天就变成了十分钟 然后 “好了现在我要休息几天”
Then the next day it could be ten minutes, and then, “Okay now I need to take a couple
days off because it’s disheartening.
Now I need to get back to it and try it.”
Everyday was getting a little bit better and I still remember a friend of mine joking that,
“你知道的 就是明年 你要赢得美国公开赛了”
“You know what, next year it’s all right, you’re going to win the US Open.”
当时我想 “你绝对是疯了 我想都没想过”
And I thought, “You’re absolutely crazy, that’s not even in my mindset.”
And before I knew it, the next year I was in the quarterfinals of the US Open against
安德烈·阿加西了 我当时想 天 我真想知道朋友说的对不对
Andre Agassi and I thought, “Man, I wonder if he was right.
Maybe I will actually win the US Open this year.”
And I didn’t unfortunately, but the setback was such that I needed to focus on such small
goals every single day, that if I had thought that the next year would have been one of
我生命中最好的一年 那2006年 就在两年之后 会是我职业生涯
the best year of my life and 2006—just two years later—would’ve been the best year
最好的一年 一个远投让我最终成为世界第四 要是我
in my career by a long shot and finish at number four in the world, if I had thought
之前两年想的是躺在床上 脸不能动 我不认为
of that two years prior when I was laid up and my face wasn’t working, I don’t think
I would’ve ever gotten there.
I needed to just take small steps every single day to reach that goal.
And before I knew it when I was reaching that goal I wasn’t even thinking back to all the
那些艰苦的练习 我就这么想 “这就是一个过程 这是我的归属”
hard work I was doing, and I was like, “This is just the progression, this is where I belong,
this is where I should be.”
And I think that played a huge part and it was just the process I was taking to get there.