No thought of complaining. Just adapt, and make the most of a bad situation.
These were the key ingredients that helped Jennifer Brady not only survive hard quarantine before the Australian Open, but actually thrive, according to the American’s coach Michael Geserer.
Now Brady’s reaping the rewards with her first grand slam final appearance, Geserer said there would be no master plan but, like everything else, she would take Saturday’s decider against Naomi Osaka in her stride.
“Once we received (notification of a two-week lockdown), we immediately approached it in probably the right way,” he said.
“If we look back, we were saying, ‘Okay, we can’t change the situation. There are much worse situations in the world. It’s something we have to adapt to, it’s something we have to think positive (about).”
With a connecting room to physio and athletic coach Daniel Pohl, the pair worked out every day inside.
“It helped really that we never thought one second of complaining or something. Just approaching that with the right attitude. I think that helped us, or helped her,” Geserer said.
For third seed Osaka, who did not have to endure a hard lockdown, it’s been more a case of continuing to fine tune her mental game.
Coach Wim Fissette said it had been a work in progress since last year’s Australian Open when she was bounced out in the third round by American phenom Coco Gauff.
“For me, during the Australian Open last year, she looked very nervous. She was under pressure, and she only looked like that because she was not expressing her feelings,” Fissette said.
“When I asked before the Gauff match how she was feeling, and she told me she was okay. Everything was good. She was obviously not. She was completely blocked by her emotions in that match.
“Gaining the trust of a player is a day-by-day activity or it’s a day-by-day thing.
“And I think step by step, we were getting closer as a team and she started kind of expressing her feelings after Australia when we were at the Fed Cup in Spain.
“She understood that we were listening and understanding her, her feelings. And if you express your feelings, obviously it helps you a lot also releasing tension, releasing pressure.”
Osaka leads 22nd seed Brady 2-1 in career meetings and, with a perfect record of converting her three grand slam finals into trophies, will head into the match a strong favourite.