By Tom Keppeler, Shoulder1 Staff
When women’s tennis player Fabiola Zuluaga dropped out of the U.S. Open three weeks ago with tendonitis in her shoulder, no one expected it. But early this morning, in front of an Olympic crowd of thousands, Zuluaga showed she could bounce back.
Zuluaga, 21, upset the ninth-seeded player at Sydney, blasting claims that her career was on hold. The Columbian tennis star was seeded 39th in the tournament, but proved she could advance toward Olympic stardom.
The road has not been easy for Zuluaga in the past three weeks. Three weeks ago, when the tendonitis in her right shoulder pulled her out of the U.S. Open, Zuluaga headed home to Bogota for rehabilitation. "If I’m not 100 percent," she told the Associated Press at the time, "I won’t go." At the time, she was Columbia’s top tennis player, seeded 34th in the world. Her withdrawal from the U.S. Open pulled her down five spots in the world rankings, and nearly eliminated hopes of her medalling in Sydney.
Zuluaga returned to practice just five days ago, hoping to give her shoulder plenty of time to heal, according to Reuters. The rest seemed to pay off, as Zuluaga unseated French player Amelie Mauresmo, seeded ninth, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at Olympic Park early this morning. "I'm very, very happy," Zuluaga told Reuters. "I was so sad when I had to withdraw in New York, but this helps make up for it."