Good support is helping Dermot maintain his future focus

This week marks one year since Kettering wheelchair tennis player Dermot Bailey became a world champion for the first time.

Dermot Bailey
Dermot Bailey

But while Bailey and his Great Britain team-mates have been denied the opportunity of trying to retain the World Team Cup men’s title they won in Israel 12 months ago, Bailey has been able to maintain focus for future goals, thanks to gym equipment and regular online support provided by the LTA.

While he is now looking forward to being able to get back to some training on court, the equipment will continue to be an important part of Bailey’s routine.

He said: “I’ve got a static hand bike and set of wheelchair rollers from the LTA, so that means I can attach my chair to the rollers and follow a programme designed for me by our LTA strength and conditioning coach Alex Cockram.

“That keeps me going on the road to match fitness.

“It’s great to be able to mix up the kind of training you can do and it makes a big difference in terms of keeping you motivated, because we don’t know when the tour will resume, even though we can now go back to some on-court one-to-one training.

“It’s difficult, sometimes, if you’re doing the same thing all the time.”

Bailey is hoping to be back on court with his coach for one-to-one hitting shortly but, with the ITF’s Wheelchair Tennis Tour suspended until at least July, training at home remains key for the world No.26.

“Now we can get back on court, I don’t want to be doing too much too early, so it’s about making sure the tennis level starts coming back,” Bailey added.

“The fitness is still there but it’s about trying to do the right things at the right times and not doing too much or too little.

“We’ve got a very good support team to help us ensure that doesn’t happen.

“We have occasional group catch-ups online but the LTA team has been great in giving us a lot of one-to-ones tailored to what people need and what people have asked for.

“I’m pretty happy with how things have been going.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t be out in Portugal to try and retain our World Team Cup title but obviously there are much more important things going on in the world.”

To find out more about the LTA’s work with disability tennis, visit www.lta.org.uk/play or email to [email protected]