Off-Seasons Of The Stars: Elena Baltacha
Published December 21, 2011 12:00
Some call it the off-season and some call it the pre-season, but for everyone it's the space between. Over the next few weeks you will find out what the stars of the WTA have been doing since the 2011 season ended, as 2012 nears...
Next up, Great Britain's No.1 player, Elena Baltacha...
Did you manage to relax and enjoy some time off?
"I've had a bit of a rest, though I'm not very good at taking time off and doing nothing! It was forced on me a bit this time as I got a heavy cold as soon as I stopped competing, so I guess my body was trying to tell me something."
What is your daily regimen in the off-season?
"It's a very structured program, starting relatively lightly, then building up to a peak and then tapering off as we get closer to competing again. At the moment we're in week two of a six week program, so at the moment it's light to medium gym work and drills on court, but we're not playing points on court yet. It will get much tougher from here - heavier weights, more time on the cross-trainer and the bike - until we're really pushing it. At that point, probably around the fifth week, we'll be playing points on court and going all out. Then in week six we start easing off as we get closer to competing again."
What activities, aside from tennis, have you been doing?
"I've got the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT) in Ipswich, which is for local girls aged six and upwards. I've been trying to spend as much time with the girls as possible and we've done things like take them on a day trip to Wimbledon to show them where I play."
Are you working with the same fitness team this year?
"Yes. My coach Nino Severino is in overall charge of my program. We work with a fitness trainer, Ben Haining, and a physio, Alisdair Jones."
Why is pre-season training so important for a tennis player?
"We compete hard for 10 months, but you need to keep developing to improve. This is the one time we get to work on our games and try new things."
What are you most looking forward to about the 2012 season?
"Everything! My big goal is to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I finished 2011 really well and got back inside the Top 50 and I feel like I'm still getting better, with lots more to come. That's very exciting, not just for the Olympics but for all the events I'm planning to play on the WTA. Bring it on!"