“The buzz around Wimbledon is just unbelievable!” Freya Christie tells the WSA.
There may be four Grand Slams, but there is only one Wimbledon. The two-week festival of tennis projects not only the greatest performers and personalities the sport has to offer to global audiences, but also represents the best of British culture and tradition.
Freya laughs when we check that the players’ canteen is filled with more than just strawberries and cream; *spoiler alert – it is!
The 19-time ITF doubles title winner took on the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for the second time in her career; this time with her now regular partner Ali Collins.
25-year-old Freya found some time in her packed schedule to give the Women’s Sports Alliance (WSA) an exclusive insight into life as a player in the main draw at Wimbledon…
“When I was a little girl, I’d come here to watch the pro’s play and now to be actually one of them is really surreal,” she tells the WSA.
Q – What’s the most ‘pinch me’ moment you’ve experienced at Wimbledon?
“This is my second time at Wimbledon, as I was in the main draw in 2019, but it never gets ‘normal’ you know, walking past all the greats!
“I walked past (Roger) Federer the other day and was a bit star-struck, then I was in the players’ restaurant and because of the rain it was really packed so I ended up sat, sharing a table with Daniil Medvedev (2021 US Open champion).
“It was kind of strange, but it’s so great to be around these people in such amazing facilities.”
Q – You mentioned the canteen – so, go on? Strawberries, cream and a little Pimm’s?
“Ha, not really! It provides all kinds of really great options,” she says.
“You know, you've got a different range of pasta, vegetarian options and everything you need really it's here!”
Q – Away from that tradition, Wimbledon is also quite known for the rain delays, so how do you cope with those and how much does the changing schedule impact preparations?
“Yeah, it is a tricky one, but I think it's just something that because we grow up playing tennis – I started when I was five – so it's something we get used to.
“I speak to other sports people and they say, ‘I can't believe you don’t know what time you’re going to start!?’ and they’re shocked we only learn the schedule at maybe eight of nine o’clock at night the day before, but it’s just part of the profession.
“The key thing is to learn how to adapt, so you’re fuelling your body right and making sure you're ready to go when it's time to get on court.”
Q – How do you fill your time when you’re on tour and waiting to go on court or for a practice session to become free?
“Ha, I enjoy reading and have been reading a lot of fiction, but actually I just started Ash Barty’s autobiography which is really good and I’d recommend! But sometimes for me if I read before matches, I get a bit sleepy, so I tend not to do that too much!
“It tends to be card games and I’ve heard someone’s got ‘Monopoly Deal’ here which is supposed to be a good game, but for me I love playing Uno. I supposed I should confess that although it’s not the healthiest I do scroll through TikTok a lot too!”
Q – How do you find the difference between playing singles and doubles?
“Yeah, it's definitely different! I mean, it's nice to be in doubles (like here in Wimbledon).
“We're a team that started playing together at the end of last year and we've continued that partnership and it's actually great to tick off a lot of new milestones.
“With a lot of partnerships, they'll play one week with each other, and then they'll play with someone else the next week, so it's nice to have that sort of consistency and also to have someone to travel with because it gets quite lonely on the tour.
“It’s great to have a friend that you get along with and know you have the same targets and goals on that team as well.”
Q – Speaking of goals, finally, what is your target for the season and long-term ambition?
“For each competition I go there to try and do my best and build on each game round-by-round and also of course, enjoy it at the same time,” Freya tells the WSA.