Johannesburg - South African tennis veteran Rik De Voest hopes to bounce back in January after a disruptive 2012 season.
An untimely wrist injury in pre-match practice before the Davis Cup World Group playoff against Canada in September forced the 32-year-old De Voest to withdraw from the crucial tie and go through a frustrating two-month period of rehabilitation.
The outcome resulted in De Voest, who has a career-best world ranking of 110th and has for much of the past decade hovered around this mark, to slip to a disconcerting 270th.
"I had to keep my wrist completely immobile for a period of three weeks," De Voest said on Friday.
"It's been a tough course getting back to full fitness and form, but right now I'm feeling fine and looking to put the setbacks of 2012 behind me."
De Voest's rehabilitation began during a "trial run" in the recent Futures tournament in Potchefstroom, where he reached the final without any ill-effects and improved his world ranking marginally to 259th.
But the main objective looming is next month's Australian Open grand slam event in Melbourne where De Voest hopes to work his way into the main draw through the qualifying rounds.
"I'm really motivated for the coming year and hoping to get back to the 110 ranking mark," he said, "maybe even surpassing it and fulfilling an ambition to make the top 100."