As tennis returns, mental aspect most important, says Yastremska

Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine

Rome, (Samajweekly) As the WTA and ATP tours slowly find their way back amid the coronavirus pandemic, world no.25 Dayana Yastremska said that the most important thing for her as she returned to court was the mental part.

The Ukranian played her first match since the shutdown at WTA Tour’s Palermo Ladies Open on Monday. “Firstly I am very happy, it’s been a long time,” Yastremska said during a virtual conference call.

“At the same time it was very difficult to play because you haven’t been in this atmosphere for a long time and you kind of forgot this feeling of competition a little bit.

“Today the most important thing was the mental part. Physically it was also a bit tough because we are not used to playing a match (in a long time),” she added.

Players are not allowed to shake hands with each other at the net or with the chair umpire and have to wear masks at all times except when on court. A handful of spectators have also been allowed.

“The best time during this tournament is when you are on court and in your room,” said Yastremska, who reached a career high ranking of 21st earlier this year. “Because you can be without the mask and you can breathe normally.

“But it’s really nice and very cool that the tournament is going on and we are competing because I really missed that. All players respect the rules and it’s good that everything is working well.”