**"It was probably too early to come back (but) I'm an athlete and it's tough to stay out of competition for a long time. I was missing to be on the court", Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur explained Saturday (Mar. 11) evening.
The runner-up last year at Wimbledon and the US Open was feeling the effects of a knee injury in Melbourne and after what she termed "minor" surgery she missed last month's WTA events in Doha and Dubai.
"I was the one that insisted that I come back in Indian Wells and Miami," she said. "It was probably too early to come back (but) I'm an athlete and it's tough to stay out of competition for a long time. I was missing to be on the court."
The fourth seed and world number four admitted her knee was about "80%" and that she may have pushed her return from injury, but she didn't want to miss the prestigious hard court tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.
"I made it like a challenge for myself to see if maybe physically I'm not ready, then I can challenge my mental health or really get my brain working for once."
Ons Jabeur's injury recovery will be tested in the third round at Indian Wells on Monday (Mar. 13). The Tunisian trail blazer faces Marketa Vondrousova, the woman who ousted her in the second round of the Australian Open.
In her first match back, Jabeur rallied from a set down to beat 106th-ranked lucky loser Magdalena Frech 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Vondrousova, a former French Open finalist ranked 79th in the world, reached the third round with victories over Rebecca Marino and 28th seeded fellow Czech Marie Bouzkova.
"She's playing good," Jabeur said of Vondrousova, who is on the comeback trail herself after an injury hit season that resulted in surgery on her left wrist.
"It's going to be great match. I know how much she loves to play on this surface, so it's gonna be another challenge for me, for sure."
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