how should this be handled?
I suffered a severe leg injury (18 months ago) and after extensive therapy have been back on the court playing doubles for 6 months. I am thrilled as initially my orthopedic surgeon didn't know if I would even be able to walk normally again, let alone play tennis. I am determined to regain my mobility, strength, and learn to move with lots of metal permanently within my leg. Therefore, I signed up for a USTA flex singles league as I felt ready to try singles again. Prior to my accident I was rated a strong 4.0, but am now not really sure where I am as I still have my 4.0 skills, but can not move around the court quite as well. So, I signed up for a 3.5 league just to be safe. I have played 3 matches and have had 3 similar experiences. My leg feels great at the beginning and I dive into play. All of my first sets thus far have been very easily won at 6-0, 6-1, 6-0. It is almost too easy as I feel I truly dominate my opponents. Well, I'm noticing a pattern that roughly 3-4 games into the second set my leg begins to swell, throb, and ache horribly. Whether I am ahead or behind in the 2nd set I begin to hurt so badly I have to retire from the match. My goal was to improve, not make my injury worse. I am beyond frustrated and am very sad as I have never been injured. I give my opponents the "win" and feel my esteem drop when I see the scores on my USTA profile.
I need advice for my next step...do I continue to schedule the remainder matches and try my best and push myself until my leg says stop, (even if it means retiring the match) or is it better etiquette to drop out of the league? I don't necessarily want to tell my opponents ahead of time that I am injured, but feel badly when I have to retire as they have given up an evening to play. I now know I wasn't ready for singles and wish I would not have signed up for this league. I have not experienced this pain playing doubles and just "assumed" I would be fine playing at a lower level in singles.
I really need advice as the lady I played tonight was very irritated when I retired. I won the first set 6-0 and then it was 1-3 in the second. She got snippy and even asked if I retired because I was "losing"? I was far from "losing"...but I am pretty stoic and tried not to show that every step was pure misery.