On a break between classes at Stanford, Mallory Burdette was relaxed and thoughtful and she reminisced on her abbreviated WTA career. Burdette was just 23 years old when she decided to hang up her racquets and close the book on a successful tennis career.
A two-time NCAA All-American at Stanford and member of the 2010 National Championship team, the Georgia native turned pro in September 2012 after a magical summer that saw her go from runner-up in the NCAA singles championship to playing Maria Sharapova in the third round of the US Open.
So when she announced her retirement via Facebook in 2014, many presumed a shoulder injury, which required surgery to repair a torn labrum, forced her out of the game.
Sure, the prospect of rehabilitating the injury and getting back on court was daunting, but there was more to the story.
"It was going to be really tough to come back from injury," Burdette said. "I was at about 85% and I was about to get back out there and start hitting. As I went through that process I was not as excited about getting back on the court. There were other things that I got into while I was injured. I was studying more. I started to really enjoy that other stuff. There just wasn't that same fire there. I wasn't going to do it half-way."
The full story can be read on the WTA website.