Family time, physical and mental fitness on Divij Sharan’s mind

With the ATP Tour suspended this early June, the Indian tennis player is keen to make the most of the downtime.

With the Olympic qualification events suspended, athletes have been left to find ways to keep themselves active and fit during such difficult times.

And the situation is no different for Indian tennis player Divij Sharan.

Having started 2020 along with Artem Sitak of New Zealand at the Qatar Open in January, the Indian had to bring his season to an abrupt halt post the Davis Cup tie against Croatia, as tennis events started getting called off.

Soon, the ATP suspended the Tour till June 7, leaving Divij Sharan with a lot of time off the court. But the Indian isn’t complaining one bit. “I've had a lot of travelling, I've not spent that much time with the family. So just been catching up with them,” Sharan told Firstpost in an interview.

Mental, physical fitness matters for Divij Sharan

But apart from the family time, the break is also an opportunity to work on fitness and game for Divij Sharan. “As tennis players, we play tournaments throughout the year so I think this is the time that we can use to improve on things that we need to work on,” he said.

“Our off-season is usually two or three weeks and then we're supposed to get going again. I will be using this prolonged period to work on things both physically, mentally. 

“If you work on your fitness for three weeks, there's some improvement. But if you have six weeks, which is not common in tennis, I think you can make a lot more improvement. 

“That's something I would be looking to do. I know it's a tough situation to be in. But I like to look at the positives and try to make the most from the situation.”

Divij Sharan and Sitak haven’t had the best of the seasons so far. The Indo-Kiwi pair have made four quarter-final appearances so far. But with each of those coming in a 16-pair draw, a second-round loss in the competitions hasn’t gone down well either. And it’s no surprise that the two have decided to split just ahead of the clay-court swing. 

“We have had some good wins but we've not gone deep into any of the tournaments. You get into a partnership hoping that you do well with the person,” he said.

“I've had some good results with him, we made the quarter-finals of Wimbledon two years back and it was fun playing with him. We tried our best and things haven't quite gone our way so I think we're going to take a break and maybe play again in the future.”

Divij Sharan not worried about the future

If the season was to pan out as per plans, the split would have seen Divij Sharan join forces with Rohan Bopanna for the clay-court season and make a case for themselves ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

But with uncertainties clouding the sporting world, the Divij Sharan has decided not to worry about things that are not in his hands and rather concentrate on getting into a routine to prepare himself for what lies ahead. 

“It's not easy as tennis players because we're used to playing plenty of tournaments… It just feels like there's just too much time,” said the world number 56. 

“There are a lot of things I can work on and improve even at home. So I guess I will plan to just make a good routine and keep monitoring my progress and improvement to stay on track. Because it's such a long time, it's easy to slack off a little bit.”

Now that doesn’t seem to be a difficult task.

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