Melanie South - Great Britain Tennis Player

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Training Week before the French Open

Well just a little update on what my week has been like leading up to the French Open which i am so excited about going to. It will be my first year there and will hopefully be the first of many. I arrived back from Japan and stayed at my parents place to meet the new puppy they had got whilst i had been away. She is a chocolate lab and i helped in naming her Ki Ki, she is so cute and really tiny at the moment but gets on great with my other dog Bella. I spent the next day recovering and playing with Ki Ki getting my mind and body rested before the tough week ahead.

We all know that the weather this week has been not so great. If you are thinking it has not been that bad then you have not been playing tennis on artificial clay courts out in the rain!!! the balls and courts were so heavy that it was a real effort to hit the ball over the service line but Katie and i managed some good sessions at Roehampton and i had lots of help from Luce to get me through. Most mornings i was getting up early to go and do a gym session including speed, footwork and med ball, before Lucie and i did some specifics on my game. To try to get on some clay courts and to get some sets in i was training at Roehampton with Katie, Sutton with Anna Smith and Casey Dell'Aqua(an ozzy girl) and i went to Wimbledon once to hit with Amanda Keen.

I got to see my trainer twice during the week for some specific sessions on movement to get sharpened up and more springy. Both sessions were good and hard work so if i keep on with this work i should soon see a difference on court. I am already feeling a lot better on court. I have been working really hard in the last few months and am in a lot better shape. I still have lots of hard work to do but everything is going in the right direction and it wont be long before it all pays off.

I have also gone along to Bikram yoga 3 times this week. Bikram is where you do a series of 26 postures to stretch and strengthen your muscles. It is hard work and great for your body and mental strength. The bit that makes it extra special is that you do it in a 40 degree heated room!!! HOT. It means the the muscles are well warmed up before so helps prevent injury and enables you to stretch the muscles to there full range.

I also went swimming a few evenings as this is great for cardio, recovery and is a non impact exercise. I enjoy swimming a lot and when i was younger had a decision to either be a swimmer or tennis player. Thank god i am a tennis player as i think i would find purely doing lengths for hours on end at 5 am a real grind.

I have had a great week this week and am really looking forward to going out to the French Open tomorrow as i feel i am ready. I have been playing really well and have been training hard. I would just like to say a huge thank you to my support team of trainers and to everyone out there who has supported me. I have had a tough time at the beginning of this year on court but things are ready to change.

Mel xx

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