My mom was my biggest cheerleader. She guided me, pushed me, hugged me and loved me unconditionally – these are the big reasons why I believed that I would always make it in tennis. I think that it is so important for parents to support their child’s specific needs.
[My mother] taught me to work hard – and that’s what so much of success is down to.
I have never really thought of the fact [that I’ve been playing tennis since 2007]. I guess that just shows that I love what I do.
I have always focused on the present – the past is in the past and doesn’t define anything. Wimbledon is obviously a very important tournament and, as ever, I will be fully focused on doing my best.
There is definitely pressure for female athletes, but I try to ignore it as much as I can. I am always myself on and off the court – I work hard and try and block everything else out.
Winning the US Open [back in 2017] was my highest point on the court – it just doesn’t get any better than winning a Grand Slam. I don’t like to focus on the lows, but obviously being injured is incredibly frustrating for any athlete.
I want to be successful and I want to win. It’s that simple.
At this level, eating right can give you the edge – the better you eat, the better you compete. I used to eat whatever I wanted, but over the last couple of years I have been working closely with a chef [to focus more on my nutrition].
Aside from tennis training, I also do a lot of agility training, plyometrics [jump training] and a lot of strengthening.
I am in London to compete, but there is no getting away from the fact that the city is special. Hopefully, I do get to enjoy some of it.
To be honest [when I am on tour] I am just looking for the hotel to be as relaxing an experience as possible and to be a place where I can get a really good night’s sleep. Obviously it’s different when I am on vacation and wanting to have fun.
Hawaii is an incredible place for vacation, but I am a California girl and I just love Santa Barbara and San Diego. The Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, which is located on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, is my favourite. It’s such a beautiful setting outside the hustle of the big city. I find it a great spot to get away and just relax.
So much of my travel is for my career. If you are travelling for work, you should use your flight for time to relax. Watch that movie, read that book – just switch off before you arrive and get down to business.
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This article was originally published in the July 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine