Jodie Burrage, is another of the many up and coming young womens tennis players. The 20-year-old Brit has steadily started to climb the rankings, after suffering some time out with an injury.
I recently caught up with Jodie and started by asking her how she is coping with the lockdown at the moment. “It’s difficult in some ways but I am managing with it in terms of my physical training.” she said. “The tennis side of it is a lot harder as I can’t actually play the sport which is my profession, but the training aspect is going well as I am doing a few sessions a day cardio then gym, so getting the physical side in which is good.”
Before the lockdown Jodie was out in Egypt playing on the ITF Tour, but unfortunately the event finished earlier than expected. “It got cut short.” she said. “In the middle of the tournament I won my first round and actually in my second round it rained the day I was supposed to play my second-round match. There had obviously been talk about the coronavirus stopping travel and everything. The girl that I was supposed to play pulled out of the tournament and went home, so I technically got through to the quarters which I was pleased about, but then that night all professional tennis tournaments got cancelled, so the next day we flew home.”
When the inevitable news came through that the British grass court season would be cancelled, Jodie understandably was upset. “It was so disappointing to first hear that that was coming into consideration and then you just realise how bad and long this virus is going to go on for and then when it was officially cancelled it was crashing really as I absolutely love the grass, I unfortunately missed it last year due to an injury I got in my first round at Surbiton and I was looking forward to making up for lost time last year, but again it’s been taken away from me.”she said. However, she accepts it was the best course of action. “Obviously it’s the right decision and the government have been good with how they have handled this whole kind of epidemic and for a British tennis player to miss the grass court season is a massive disappointment.”
Unlike some of the big names in womens tennis, up and coming players like Jodie must rely on playing tournament events around the world for money.
“It’s my only income, so if I don’t play. It’s not like Premiership football players or rugby players or people who are contracted still getting money, and I know a lot of people who have gone under pay cuts and everything but for a tennis player if you are not competing you won’t get anything, it’s the only source of income. “Luckily, I am funded by the LTA, which still helps with my fitness, my fitness trainer my physio and my coaches.”It’s a bit worrying really” she added “because we don’t know how long this is going to go on for, I’m still young and have got a large part of my career left.”
“The tournaments for the grass for a British player, you get really good opportunities to play in front of the crowds in those bigger events. The prize money goes up. The more big tournaments you lose out on the more money you miss out on. However, all tennis players are in the same boat as are all sports people at the moment as we can’t do what we train to do and what we thrive to do and we can’t play in front of those people which is frustrating.”
Full interview with Jodie Burrage