Woodbridge's winter woes for tennis stars

Doubles great Todd Woodbridge suspects struggling through a cold winter will be another new challenge for many of Australia's tennis stars.

TODD WOODBRIDGE.
TODD WOODBRIDGE. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Todd Woodbridge fears the worst may be yet to come for Australia's shut-down tennis stars but is urging them to put the indefinite break to good use.

With the season on hold until at least July 12 and Wimbledon already cancelled, Woodbridge has pointed out that Ashleigh Barty, Nick Kyrgios and co face the harsh reality of a rare winter in Australia.

"All of our players normally go to Europe and they go to the sunshine and they're playing tournaments," he told AAP.

"So this will be a time that none of us Australian players will have ever been through - and that's going to be the challenge once we get to that period of the year.

"What do we do for practice? Facilities by June you hope are back open but it's winter and we don't have a lot of indoor courts in Australia.

"All of those elements about preparation and trying to then be ready to try and be back for the tour are going to be a real challenge.

"But, in all of this, you've got to try to remain positive and look to get something out of it."

The 22-time grand slam doubles champion and one-time top-20 singles star believes staying motivated during the lay-off is critical.

Being organised and mapping out a routine would also help, Woodbridge said.

"They really need to think about how they schedule their training blocks and what they can do in their training blocks," he said.

"And what do they train for? Do they train for strength? Do they train for endurance?

"These are things; they're going to have to look at the calendar and take a bit of a peep at.

"If we get back on court, say in October, this is how my next six months is going to look like."

Given tennis usually has little more than a six-week off-season, Woodbridge hopes some players thrive with the unexpected time off but suspects others may suffer.

"This is a unique period for all of our athletes. For some of them this will be a really important break if you're in the middle or the back half of your career," he said.

"It's actually not a bad thing to re-energise yourself and become more motivated and really give you that drive to finish your career off well.

"For the younger ones, though, it is really difficult to know how they'll handle it.

"They'll be thinking, 'OK, I've lost a year of my transition of trying to get to that tour level and how am I going to be able to get to that? When does that start again?

"So many questions really."


AAP