Ingrid Neel

April 4, 2024

“I have an autoimmune arthritic condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I had been going through years of weird pains that would just not go away. Or I’d play a match, and even if it was only an hour-and-a-half match, I would feel like I was just run over by a bus. I ended up getting diagnosed after a pretty bad SI joint pain situation at a tournament. It rocked my world because my brother has the same condition, and it fully took him out of the game and majorly impacted his quality of life. I’m an optimistic person, but I’m also realistic, and watching it happen to someone close to me first was tough. I asked myself if it was better to just stop playing tennis or keep going. I wanted to stay in it, so I started playing more doubles. It was a tough thing to accept, because I was a singles player. It was not the essence of the sport I chose – doubles is an entirely different craft. But it’s become my passion now. I’m so grateful that I can even still play and that my body’s holding up. Last summer, I started to feel my back bothering

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