Sports

Tennis players staying prepared during the pandemic

They may not be able to practice or play on actual tennis courts but some of The Bahamas’ top tennis players have been staying prepared for whatever is to come their way the remainder of this season. It is expected that, at some point, tennis action will resume locally and internationally this season.

The top-ranked male player in the country, Justin Roberts, said players can still do things to work on their craft. As for himself, he has been working on his footwork using a resistance band.

“Even though we are quarantined, there are always things we can do to improve – stay inside, stay safe and continue to work at your craft,” Roberts said.

As of March 16, Roberts is positioned at number 416 in the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) singles ranking. He is at number 788 on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles rankings.

The 23-year-old represented The Bahamas at the 2019 edition of the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. He has been selected to represent a strong Team Bahamas in Davis Cup competition this year.

Sydney Clarke, the reigning Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year, has been doing some shadow tennis workouts along with other drills to stay sharp.

“Being physically fit is great for our overall well-being because it helps the body in many ways. No matter what happens in life, you must always be prepared for obstacles,” Clarke said.

Clarke is the 2019 National Runner-Up and a member of the 2020 Bahamas Fed Cup Team that was set to play in early June in Panama City, Panama. That tournament was postponed to a date to be announced later.

One of the top junior players, Kofi Bowe, who has represented the country internationally, said the lockdown has been difficult for him, but he knows it’s only temporary.

“Our current state of isolation and confinement has been extremely difficult, but being able to take part in some physical activity gives me a mental and physical break. Situations like the existing COVID-19 pandemic will not last forever; my faith in God tells me that trouble will not last,” Bowe said.

The Grand Bahamian was seen in a video running stairs and working on his footwork in his backyard. He said that he tries to maintain the best physical condition that he possibly can, so that when this is all over and done with, he is ready to attack any tennis challenges.

Another one of the junior male tennis players, Anthony Burrows Jr., who has also represented The Bahamas internationally, said he is also working out at home and is encouraging Bahamians to stay safe.

Earlier this month, the ITF announced that it has postponed all ITF sanctioned tournaments until July 13.

The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc around the world with over 1.9 million cases worldwide, and about 120,000 deaths.

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