Divij Sharan was one of the players to venture out early, post the lockdown. By competing in tournaments in the United Kingdom and later in a Challenger in Prague in August, he was well prepared to salvage whatever was left in the tennis season.
However, the best preparations did not bring matching results as Divij struggled to win matches on the Tour.
Reaching the final of the Challenger in Prostejov with Sriram Balaji was his best fare in four months, even though he did manage to win the odd ones in the ATP Tour.
Back home in the Capital after spending the lockdown with his wife Samantha in Manchester, the 34-year-old Divij put things in perspective, in his inimitable calm manner.
“It has been a tough time for me post the lockdown. It is great to be competing, but I have not had much success in my tournaments,” admitted Divij, who won the Asian Games gold with Rohan Bopanna, and was conferred the Arjuna award this year.
“I was super excited to hear about the Arjuna award for me. I was away in the US when the award was given,” said Divij.
Managing on his own
It wasn’t easy for Divij, managing everything on his own on the Tour for four months, without a coach or trainer, and competing with eight partners in 10 tournaments.
“I lost all my matches against seeded teams in all the ATP Tour events and Grand Slams. I didn’t much luck with the draws also,” said Divij.
“I really enjoyed playing with Bala. We had some good practice sessions that week. I felt very comfortable with him on court,” said Divij, about making the final of the big Challenger with Sriram Balaji.
For the moment, Divij plans to rest and get ready for the season ahead.
“I will take a short break, and start training again. I have plans and ideas on what I need to work on and am motivated to start stronger in January. I am also excited about the Olympic year,” he said.