Daria Katkina says she used a mental health coach during her run at the Madrid Open.
Kasatkina said the grind of the tour can wear players down.
She believes that she may have zeroed in on the way to overcome that and find happiness in every minute.
«I remember the first year I fell in love with everything,» Katkina said at the Mutua Madrid Open. «I was very excited about everything. I could spend 24 hours at the tennis club and be very happy.
«Obviously that changes after two years of doing the same thing, seeing the same people, the same facilities, everything. Obviously you start to get a little tired.»
One of the changes in her approach is bringing in Italian coach Flavio Coppola.
«We have a good relationship,» Kasatkina said. “We’re having fun on and off the court. This is especially important to me. I like not to worry all the time, otherwise I would be depressed.
«Now we’re working on getting creativity back in my game, because the last few years I’ve been more disciplined, but now we’re working more on opening myself up on the court,» she said.
Katkina brings in a mental health professional to help her get in a better frame of mind.
«It’s very difficult to find the answer and the way on your own,» says Katkina.
“That’s why it’s good to have someone else help show you other things to enjoy on the tour.
“We’ve been working on a lot. About sports, about life, because the situation in my country is affecting me personally because it affects me. I am very worried about it and it is involved in me [mental health]. It’s hard.»
Katkina says the solitary nature of the WTA tour and the constant grind can take its toll.
«It’s really hard because we’re like a hamster in a wheel,» she said. “That’s non-stop, we don’t have many breaks, it’s a never-ending story. And in the end, it’s all the same, it’s more or less the same story every year, every week.
She adds that having a partner with elite sports experience helps.
Kasatkina is dating former figure skater Natalya Zabiako.
«She used to compete at a high level, so she could compare the best tournaments in tennis with the best tournaments in skiing,» Kasatkina said. She said she likes the area here because the skiing organization is not very good.
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