Australian Open: Divij Sharan weighs in on preparations ahead of grand slam

Sharan and his Slovakian partner Igor Zelenay had erased a first-set deficit to beat Argentina's Guillermo Duran and Spanish Albert Ramos-Vinola 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 to move to the men's doubles pre-quarterfinals at Murray River Open.

Igor Zelenay and Divij Sharan at the Australian Open tennis venue in Melbourne.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

There was no action at the Melbourne Park, hosting six men’s and women’s tennis tournaments simultaneously across the 18 courts. But, Divij Sharan had no complaints. The Indian did not have to take a COVID-19 test and could go out and train for two hours. It was different for the 600 players, coaches and family members who got tested for Covid-19 as they stayed at the Hotel, which had a positive result. "Zero cases in Victoria for almost a month", said Divij, who had won his first round of doubles with Igor Zelenay of Slovakia on Tuesday. "Tomorrow (Friday) we are scheduled to play the sixth match on the court. Rain is forecast for the day’’, said Divij.

The uncertainty apart, it has been good training for Divij with Igora with whom he had won the ATP Tour title in St. Petersburg in 2019. "We have put in the hours together the last couple of weeks and are working towards getting match sharp. Our goal is to do well at the Australian Open which should then set us up for the rest of the year", he said.

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"It is good to be back playing tournaments again. The quarantine for me was not too bad as I wasn’t in hard lockdown. I was able to practise for a couple of hours and do some basic gym."

 

He had not played tournaments after mid-November. "We were a bit rusty in the first round and came through in the match tie-break. It gives us a chance to compete in another match and keeps us in contention to go deep into the tournament", observed Divij.

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After having competed without a coach or trainer last year, Divij was happy to have Paul Dale with him as a coach for the first Grand Slam of the season.

"I have worked with Paul multiple times earlier. I keep in touch with him. I am really happy to have him here. We have been working hard on my game through the two weeks of quarantine", said Divij.

The situation is different for Divij’s wife, Samantha, as she is recovering from an injury, back home in Manchester. ‘’For the British players, it has been tough to train and travel with all the restrictions’’, Divij stressed.

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