If you’ve ever taken a peek at Australian tennis pro Sam Stosur’s resume, you’d be mighty impressed. The 27-year-old just won the 2011 U.S. Open singles title this year and is ranked World No. 7, with a career high in singles as World No. 4. We were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with Stosur on her U.S. Open victory, and steal some of her fitness secrets along the way. Read on for how she stays fit on and off season, her favorite foods to fuel her up, and more.
Congrats on winning the 2011 U.S. Open singles title! How did it feel pulling off such a victory?
It felt amazing, it’s a goal I’ve had my whole career and something I’ve worked toward for a very long time. For that to finally come true is a weird feeling. I’m still thinking of words to describe the feeling of when I hit that last ball.
You’ve been playing tennis since you were 13 years old. How has the sport shaped your life?
I went on my first overseas match at 13, so it definitely made me grow up a little faster than all my friends. I knew I wanted to be a professional tennis player since I was about 10 years old, so I don’t regret missing out on some of those childhood staples everyone else experiences.
Tours require a ton of traveling. How do you manage to keep up a healthy diet when on the road?
When you dine in different countries, there are different styles of food that you’re constantly around and exposed to. I find that getting enough sleep helps me to make better decisions when I’m not at home. I also make sure to stay on top of my vitamins to make sure I’m getting enough of what my body really needs.
Read on for how Stosur stays in shape off season.
In 2007 you were diagnosed with Lyme disease. How did that affect the way you played and how were you able to get past it to get back on the court?
I couldn’t play for about 10 months after I was diagnosed, which was a really big deal for me. That and the fact that I really had no idea what the disease was until I got it. I had to take some time to educate myself on what was happening to my body and figure out the best way to cope. I’m fortunate that 10 months in the grand scheme of things is not that long compared to other stories that I hear from people with the same condition.
How do you stay in shape during the off season?
During my down time I try to do any physical activity that isn’t tennis. Once the season rolls around and I get back on the court, the first few weeks are always a bit rough. Your muscles are constantly sore! Once tournaments starts I just worry about what I’m doing on the court, if I have time for other exercise then that’s great but I don’t try to overexert myself once the season starts up.
What foods do you eat before and after to fuel you up before a match and help you recover faster?
Like any athlete, I focus on carbs before a match, so lots of chicken and pasta, things like that. After a match I’ll eat a USANA Nutrition Bar to keep my energy levels up so I don’t immediately crash.
Other than tennis, what other activities do you enjoy to help you stay in shape?
During the preseason I’ll switch things up a lot. I love riding my bike, it’s nice to get away from the stationary bike at the gym and be able to ride outside. I also like to box as well as swim—even though I’m a terrible swimmer, it’s tough! Aside from that, I love going to the beach and just being outside.
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