Andrey Kuznetsov, the former world No. 39, admitted that winning the Nur-Sultan Challenger in July was crucial for him. Due to a lifelong hip condition, Kuznetsov was forced to retire for three years between 2017 and 2020.
“Incredibly important. My ranking situation was not very good. I was ranked about 320 in the world and the US Open was up next.
“But it did not only help me ranking-wise, it also helped me a lot to gain some confidence,” Kuznetsov told Tennis TourTalk.
Kuznetsov, who is now ranked No. 281 in the world, is looking to win an ATP title or set a new career-high ranking by the end of the year.
“For sure I am back on the circuit but there are still a lot of things to improve.
I need some time to feel completely comfortable on the tour. I have played for more than a year now, starting in last August. The most important thing that my body is okay.
“I just hope that it will continue like this and that my best results are still coming in the future,” Kuznetsov said.
Kuznetsov believed his career was coming to an end
“Not at all. It was changing a lot,” Kuznetsov admitted, when asked did he feel certain about making a comeback.
“The first month, I was sure that I will be back within the next two months.
“Then, I thought that there was no chance and so it was changing all the time. I already started to work as a coach and as a commentator for Eurosport Russia. I was doing some things for the living, as two and a half years is a long period.
“The first year I was only concentrated on my recovery but after that I started some kind of “normal life”.
“It was not easy to change back to the life on the tour, as I was used to stay at home for a lot of time.
“I became a husband and a father (his son Max was born last December). Many things have changed and travelling is still a difficult part for me. But I enjoy playing tennis.”