Sporting Life

Ice baths, gels, stretches: A trip into the painful, pampered world of an Australian Open player

After a match, Australian Open players can take ice baths to help in their recovery. PHOTO: TENNIS AUSTRALIA
Stationary bikes where players can do their warm-ups before their matches at the Australian Open. Treadmills are also available. PHOTO: TENNIS AUSTRALIA
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MELBOURNE – It’s match day, 7pm start, the butterflies are gathering. Three hours before the first shot, or thereabouts, they arrive in courtesy cars. Player and entourage. Everyone a painting of resolve. Rackets will be collected. They’ve been restrung after perhaps factoring in the temperature and time of the match.

Five days of the Open are left, history is flirting. If the players have a strain, a blister, they might get it seen to. Some have a private physio, else the Open provides 10 for each gender. There are a line of treatment rooms and a series of curtained areas where complaining bodies can be massaged and mended. This is the big time.

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