When Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) announced it’s suspending all events last month, Divij Sharan was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected break. Coronavirus, the global pandemic that has wreaked havoc, provided the Indian tennis player with a chance to spend more time with his wife Samantha Murray, a fellow professional, whom he married last year. Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown News Today: After Bengaluru, 'Complete Shutdown' Re-imposed in Dakshina Kannada, Dharwad And Kalaburagi Districts | Details Here
“No one would have anticipated a situation like this a few months back,” Sharan told IANS. “I had been playing tournaments every week from the start of the year till the Davis Cup tie in Croatia so it was a pleasant surprise when the ATP cancelled tournaments for a few weeks. I thought it would be a good time to take a small break, catch up with the family and get back to playing tournaments on the clay. Also Read - Coronavirus in Telangana Crosses 39,000-mark With 1,597 New Cases, 11 Fresh Deaths
As the picture surrounding coronavirus became clearer with the entire world going into lockdown mode, the entire tennis season in 2020 was thrown into limbo. Also Read - Global COVID-19 Cases Top 13.2 Million : Johns Hopkins
“Unfortunately the tour got further suspended till June and now we are looking at maybe even the grass court season getting cancelled. No one really knows when we’ll get back to playing tournaments,” Sharan said.
While Sharan has been on the road non-stop, the upside to this forced break is the chance to be at home with his family but then there’s the obvious downside.
“There are financial ramifications for not just us tennis players but for people from all walks of life. Everybody is affected,” Sharan explained.
“As tennis players most of our earnings go towards managing our coaching and travel expenses. I know not playing tournaments affects our income but our expenses have also considerably gone down. Having said that, the career span of a sportsperson is short and a long break from the tour could prove to be detrimental,” he added.
The 34-year-old though admits the isolation is the need of the hour, necessary to contain the spread of highly contagious coronavirus that has infected over 9,00,000 people globally.
“Almost all the countries have gone under lockdown. All of us should do our bit in following the guidelines of the government. It’s a team effort. Someone’s carelessness can not only affect the other people but substantially delay recovery from this pandemic,” he said.
That said, Sharan says the key will be for the sportspersons to remain fit and motivated. “It will be interesting to see how the players come out of this long break. The key will be to try to keep fit and motivated as there are no tournaments to prepare for in the near future,” he said.
He continued, “I have access to an exercise bike. I do a lot of functional exercises with the help of bands, TRX, med ball and Swiss ball. I also do yoga everyday. All these activities can easily be done in limited space at home.”
He is also relishing the opportunity though. “This situation has also given me a chance to spend some time with my wife. We’ve barely been together since our wedding last year,” he said.