© Kevin Verneau

Steve Darcis competes at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Blois.

Darcis Rebounds Strongly From Surgery In Challengers

The Belgian is on a nine-match win streak in Challengers

Coming back from injury can be a difficult road for some players, but Steve Darcis has picked up where he left off by playing some of his best tennis on the ATP Challenger Tour.

After undergoing a second wrist surgery in February, the 32-year-old returned by winning the $75,000 event in Lyon, France, in just his third tournament back. His seventh ATP Challenger Tour singles title came right after qualifying for Roland Garros, where he lost an entertaining second-round match to Novak Djokovic.

At this week’s $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Blois, France, Darcis has stormed into the final without losing a set. He’s been in dominant form throughout the week, dropping an average of six games in his four matches.

“Winning in Lyon means I’m almost back. I played many matches at a really good level and saw that my wrist and body were fine. I also feel good mentally because I know that all of this work in the shadow is starting to pay off,” said Darcis. “This week is Lyon is another nice tournament, like most of them in France. The people from the organisation are working really hard to put players in great conditions.”

Darcis has long been known for his foot speed on court, but he’s arguably in the best shape of his career after making fitness a priority during his injury layoff.

“I worked really hard with my physical coach to make sure I’d be ready when my wrist was operational,” he said. “We spent many hours on the court without a racquet and lots of time with the physios to help recovery faster. I knew exactly what I had to do if I wanted to be a “good” player again and working that hard also makes me feel stronger mentally.”

Darcis will next turn his attention to the grass as he looks to qualify for Wimbledon. He plans on placing quality over quantity with his schedule, picking his spots in hopes of a fast return to the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Most importantly, he looks to stay injury-free in order to build on his current form.

“I have to say that I’m surprised to play this well so quickly,” he admitted. “You know it will come back one day when you work hard, but I’ll take this!”

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