Lawn Tennis Association are providing Dart with equipment and support from their Sports Science team
Saturday 4 April 2020 16:59, UK
Like all tennis players right now, Harriet Dart is in the same boat. No competitive matches means the Brit has had to adapt her hectic lifestyle into a daily routine from home. She talks exclusively to Sky Sports' Raz Mirza about her day...
The 23-year-old has been sticking to the guidelines and staying at home just like the rest of us, trying to keep a day-to-day routine in place, keeping fit and healthy with the hope that the tennis season will resume at some point in the future.
Dart was upset like the rest of us when she heard the news that the sport was suspended and is not due to resume until July 13 at the earliest after the Wimbledon Championships was cancelled on Wednesday.
The inevitability of the announcement was not a major surprise to Dart, who made a splash at last year's Wimbledon where she won a match in front of the Duchess of Cambridge before bowing out to world No 1 Ashleigh Barty in the third round.
"Life is definitely a bit strange but everyone around the world is in the same situation and there's much more important things that are happening that clearly need to take precedence. It's really sad with what's going on so I'm just trying to stick to government guidelines and stay at home, do my fitness, do as much as I can do really," Dart said.
"Of course it's disappointing that Wimbledon has been cancelled but I totally understand the decision that was made. Safety definitely comes first because there are so many people involved in making the tournament happen and that's the most important thing."
With no tennis, Dart has structured a daily plan which she tries to adhere to in a very uncertain time for many players, including herself. The LTA have loaned her equipment while she receives ongoing support from their Sports Science team.
I'm just trying to be optimistic and take each day as it comes. It's important to keep as much of a regular routine as possible.
"I've been trying really hard to stay in my daily routine. Obviously it's a little bit different because I'm not playing tennis so I usually get up around 7.30 in the morning, get dressed, eat breakfast and do everything as normal," Dart said. "I'm a creature of habit so I will usually just have a big bowl of porridge with loads of fruit and some boiled eggs. It's not very interesting but it gets the job done.
"I have a little garage where I've set up a little mini-gym. I've been fortunate enough that the LTA support me and they have been with other players by providing a lot of equipment which has been really essential during this time. It's very different training what I'm doing now to what I normally would be doing on a regular basis.
"Given the equipment that I do have, we're able to mimic a lot of regular sessions and try and maximise this period of time.
"I get on the Wattbike, then do some shoulder rehab to make sure it hasn't completely weakened just because tennis is so shoulder-driven. Then I'd eat some lunch, which has been trying to eat up everything that I have in the house, before doing a lower body leg circuit. I also do a bit of stretching, and a bit of yoga.
"Again, the LTA have been good in the fact that they've been proving video consultations, virtual training sessions. I did a pilates virtual class where there was at least six to eight other players taking part. It's good to experience some different things.
"I'm just trying to be optimistic and take each day as it comes. It's important to keep as much of a regular routine as possible."
Dart has joined the social media revolution of posting exercise tips to her accounts. The world No 146 says she does it to help motivate people.
"I think social media is a great tool that you can utilise, especially with a lot of us who have a good following," she said. "I think it's great that we can help people stay active and stay really positive. If I can motivate people to work out and do some sort of activity, to me, that's a real positive."
Dart would end the day around 5 o'clock before cooking her dinner. She has become somewhat of a culinary expert in recent months with a "healthy" crumble being her speciality.
"I'm in an intense battle of UNO with my boyfriend at the moment," Dart joked. "TikTok is another craze although I was a bit late to the party, but it's a lot of fun. It's gone pretty viral."
The British No 3 has ambitions of breaking into the Top 100 in 2021, which has been a long-time goal of hers.
She added: "If I just keep improving, keep working on my game, I think the results will take care of itself and it will flow a bit more. Another big goal of mine is to stay injury-free. Last year I missed quite a lot of the season so for me it's trying to stay healthy and piecing it all together, which is not as always easy as it seems."
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