Darko Grncarov was just a regular young sportsman set to embark on the long, winding road towards stardom, until he was told by doctors he may never play tennis again.
After long practises and training sessions in the gym, a blood vessel burst in his brain and Grncaraov suffered a stroke, which left him in a coma for six months.
‘The first few days I was depressed because I couldn’t walk I was told I won’t play something that I’ve been playing my whole life again,’ he recalled.
With the support of his family, particularly his fashion blogger sister Elena and her professional footballer husband Blagoja Ljamcevski, and the tennis world, Grncarov soon switched his attention to the road to recovery.
After consulting with specialists, and still at risk of suffering another stroke, he was told a full recovery could take up to seven years.
But Grncarov took to doing exercises in secret and shocked his loved ones by returning to a tennis court in November.
All I could think about was tennis and having the feeling to play on the tour and to be able to walk, run, play and enjoy life.