We got in just after sunset yesterday, after a pretty quick taxi from the airport – huge bonus after an 8 hour flight! For all their faults, Air India actually has great legroom and comfortable seats. We’re staying at a familiar hotel that is decent, nice and close to the arena which is the most important factor.
Our first evening was obviously relaxed, focus from my side was just trying to get Saina ready for today as she’ll be on court for a few hours and also in the gym. So a bit of light exercise once we were settled, a good meal, and some soft tissue work to freshen her legs after the long flight. Sleep will be a bit of an issue this first few days, so we’ll also just have to try and ensure sleep hygiene is a focus. Sleep is such an important area that I think most athletes have only recently started to appreciate. Recovery from exercise, both mentally and physically, requires a good sleep schedule. It’s also pretty cold outside, so coming from India (Mumbai was 35 when I left), cardio and active recovery will probably be better appreciated if done inside this week.
A few of the players have been talking about the playing surface this week being notoriously hard, so recovery strategies will have to take that into account. Saina has been doing quite a bit of specific prep for the surface this week, aspects of training she ordinarily wouldn’t have thought about, but as this is her 10th All England, she’s got plenty of experience and was able to tweak a few things for this specific event.
Plan for today is a few hours on court and some light gym work – primarily mobility and activation after the flight. And possibly even some free time to explore a little – my first time in Birmingham.
Keep you posted.