Comeback to Tennis Spotlight:

Whitney Slahetka

December 18, 2019

“I always knew I was going to come back. I have so much fun playing tennis, but for me, it was just a matter of when I would be allowed to play again.”


For the past decade, Whitney Slahetka, from Centreville, Va., stayed active playing in USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Adult League tennis and enjoyed the fun of the game. Whitney got into the USTA League program after she graduated from college and was happy to be in a sport she had started early in her childhood recalling fond times playing at the International Country Club in Fairfax, Va., and good times attending tennis summer camp. 


But her game abruptly came to a halt during 2018 at one of the most critical moments of the League season - the 18 & Over Virginia Regional Championships. Whitney, unfortunately, suffered a knee injury. 


“I had knee surgery in August 2018 and I was then cleared to play tennis again in December,” Whitney said. ADVERTISEMENT “Shortly after being cleared I found out I was pregnant and due to some pregnancy reasons, my doctor told me I couldn’t play.” 


Whitney was restricted from all physical activity and once again had to take a break from tennis. But she was determined to come back, and always kept it in her mind that she would play again. It was just a matter of waiting to be cleared.  


“I had my baby boy, Logan, on September 1 and had to wait six weeks after having him to be cleared to play,” she says. 


In all, it was a year and a half before Whitney was back on the tennis court playing competitively. 


“I played a 7.5 Mixed match with my long-time partner of eight years, Zach Launey, a few weeks ago, and we won 6-0, 6-2!” 


She attributes her quick return to tennis due to her competitive edge, “I played varsity field hockey, basketball, and soccer in high school and Division 1 field hockey in college. So tennis has been my way of being able to continue to compete at a high level since college,” she said. 


Currently, Whitney is looking forward to the 2020 USTA Mid-Atlantic League season and playing with her friends along the way. She’s gearing up to make it back to Regional Championships and beyond with her Virginia League team, Sets in the City. 


She continues to encourage other players to get back into the game, “Take it slow and play for fun a few times with friends or family before playing a match. Also, try not to get too frustrated, it takes time to get your game back to where it was.”


You can create your own comeback story for your tennis game too. Whether you are coming off an injury or haven’t picked up a tennis racquet in years, it is never too late to make it back out on the tennis court in the Mid-Atlantic region. 


If you are inspired by Whitney’s story and want to start your comeback, use our tips and helpful information that will help you get back into tennis.


USTA Mid-Atlantic is challenging local players to create and share their comeback stories. We aim to motivate and inspire you to pick up a racquet and get back on the court and will be sharing inspiring comeback stories over the next few months. If you have a story to share, tell us about it.


Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to follow along on all things tennis in the Mid-Atlantic. 



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