Daria Gavrilova On Staying Mentally And Physically Tough

Daria Gavrilova On Staying Mentally And Physically Tough

Daria Gavrilova has had an exciting career. She’s beaten Grand Slam winners and top ten players, and is on the road to be an even bigger champ. While this year she lost to Aussie rival and world No.1 Ash Barty in the second round of the Australian Open, and then had to go through surgery on her achilles, it isn’t stopping the 24-year-old from pushing forward with bounds of positivity.

We spoke to her about living through two Melbourne lockdowns and one-hour daily exercise limits, as well as what it was like playing in half-filled stadiums at the Aus Open below.

How did you navigate training under lockdown?

I am lucky that I have a great team around me who can help me with all aspects of my training, this Includes a tennis coach, physio and trainer. It was tough at times to stay motivated during lockdown but I was also coming back from an injury so I was feeling pretty refreshed and motivated to get fit again. I was also sometimes practicing with my fiancé until we thought it was too much to spend this much time together!

I was also Zwifiting in my garage!

What does a typical day of training look like for you?

I usually like to get the tennis training done first and usually play a couple of hours in the morning. We change the training up a lot and this may Involve either drilling with my coach, match play or working on technical aspects of my game.

Once the tennis is over, we hit the gym for some weights and work on cardio. I don’t run or do much movement outside of my on court training because of my injured achillies. Instead I do a lot of bike workouts. I like to go for longer bike rides sometimes and my coach likes to kill me on the wattbike. There is also nothing better at the end of the day than getting a massage and recovering to get ready to come back and do it all again.

Could you talk us through your match-day routine?

I usually like to get to the courts early and warm up a couple of hours prior to my match. I don’t like to be rushing around so always plan my day well on match day.

I try to hit for 30-40 minutes and then have a meal after that. Once the match Is getting closer I go Into the gym and ride a bike and then do some agility and reaction drills. It Is often a time to sit with my coach and go through any last minute tactical reminders.

With restrictions this year meaning matches at the Aus Open are played in half-filled stadiums, how did the absence of a home crowd impacted your game?

I feel happy with how I played this year but it Is obviously way more fun to be playing In front of packed stadiums. There is nothing better for the Aussie players to be at home with the crowd going nuts. We are so lucky to have a Grand Slam In our backyard!

Tennis is an incredibly strenuous game and given that there’s a quick turn- around during the competition, what do you do to aid recovery and ensure you’re ready to go for the next match?

It Is really Important to eat well and something I am conscious of doing, especially during events. I also get a lot of physio treatment and massage to help recover from my matches. I do find during big tournaments it can be mentally tiring also, and I have to make sure I get away form the courts to relax at times. There Is always a lot of people around at the courts and it can get a little draining If you are playing every day, so it is great to just go home and relax.

How do you stay mentally tough during a match?

Sometimes I get a little emotional on the court but as I have gotten more experienced over the years I have learned to control that better. It is such a big part of playing at the top level and maintaining that belief Is huge if you want to play well.

Outside of tennis, what fitness activities or sports do you love to do?

I have always enjoyed cooking and have started making bracelets, called DashLets – check them out on instagram @Dash.Lets! I spend a lot of time with my sausage dog, Tofu, and we live close to the beach so I spend a lot of time there. I like doing hobbies as I find It relaxing and takes my mind off the hard work.

How does your beauty routine change during tournaments?

I love my beauty routine and whenever I travel I always pack my favourite products. In the mornings I like to use my Vitamin C serum and I always top it off with Bondi Sands SPORT SPF 50+ sunscreen. I then always make sure to reapply Sports SPF 50+ sunscreen before going on court and sometimes even during matches if it’s really sunny.

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