How Rising Star Astra Sharma Is Preparing For The Australian Open

How Rising Star Astra Sharma Is Preparing For The Aus Open

by | Jan 21, 2020

Want to be one of those smug types who knew all about so-and-so before they got big? Well, now’s the time to get across (and behind) rising star Astra Sharma. Actually, you might already be jumping on the 24-year-old’s rocketing talent a little too late. 2019 was a huge year for the Singapore-born, Western Australian who began ranked 231 in the world before peaking at 85 in June. She rounded off a successful year in the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open main draws, with a spot in Australia’s Fed Cup team. 

Now, Australia’s number four is a wildcard entry to the 2020 Australian Open and we spoke to her in the lead up about her training regime, how she handles nerves and why napping is a key part of success.

How are you feeling physically and mentally in the lead up to the Australian Open?

I feel great both physically and mentally. I did a lot of work in the off season to get myself fit and healthy, it was an important time I think that sets the tone for the year.

Do you still get nervous before big events? How do you work on your mental strength?

Yes, I definitely still get nervous, I think it means a lot and so nerves would be normal. I do a lot of meditation, and I try and be really honest about my feelings and my actions so that I can cut through to the source of problems or positives. A big key for me is being really gentle with myself and accepting mistakes are part of a growth mindset. 

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What does playing at the Australian Open mean to you?

It’s my favourite tournament. Playing at home in front of friends and family, it can’t get any better.

Do you have any pre-comp rituals?

Rituals not really. Life on the road gets really hectic and I don’t like being dependent on things that could change and disrupt me.

How did you get started in tennis? When did you realise you wanted to play professionally?

My parents played and used to take my brother and I to the courts when we were little, and we’d end up kicking around with each other. I only realised I wanted to play professionally around 16 or 17.

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What does a regular week of training look like for you?

So in my off season a regular weeks was four gym sessions, three to four conditioning sessions, two to four hours of play per day depending and one rest day at the end of the week.

What practices or habits outside of physical training help with your performance?

I put a big emphasis on my sleep. I know there’s a huge correlation to performance and recovery. So I try to sleep early and get lots naps in.

What does a regular day on a plate look like for you?

Breakfast will be toast and a spread of some sort, (vegemite, peanut butter..depends on what I’m feeling), with eggs, avocado if it’s available and some sort of yoghurt or milk. Lunch and dinner are really similar, a protein, vegetable and rice/ a pasta with salad.

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?