Quarantine Q&A: Zheng Saisai eating up mom's meals, time with Yuanbao

Quarantine Q&A: Zheng Saisai eating up mom's meals, time with Yuanbao

Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the world No. 34 is keeping busy with a variety of fitness activities, English lessons and her adorable dog.

In this new Q&A series, TENNIS.com will check in with players stationed all around the world while hanging tight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Zheng Saisai updates us from her mom's place in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.


Describe a day in the quarantine life where you are currently based.

I get up and walk my dog every morning, then come back and grab some breakfast. After that I try to move around a bit so I do some stretching and easy exercises just to keep my body mobile. Since I have so much time now, I read some books and do an English lesson, then have lunch. I do more intense training in the afternoon where I try to focus on different muscle groups and alternate those throughout the week. Then dinner, relax and TV.

Do you have access to a tennis court? If not, what are you doing to stay sharp?

We do have tennis courts where I live. It snowed here not that long ago so it’s a bit cold to be playing tennis outside. I do get out there to work on my footwork.

If the entire season is cancelled, will you pursue other avenues to earn a living while competition is on a hiatus? 

If that happens, I will probably take some online courses and pursue longer-term education. Plus, spend more time with family.

Nutrition plays an important role in athlete’s daily life. How much are you cooking versus relying on others, like family, or utilizing delivery services? 

I have tried out a couple of recipes myself, but I am lucky to have my mom with me. She has been doing most of the cooking here, which means that I really need to keep up with my fitness! Thanks to my mom, there hasn’t really been a need for delivery.

Zheng Saisai

How often do you stay connected with your team and who oversees your at-home workout program? 

I have my fitness coach here with me from my Star River team who oversees my fitness. I stay in regular touch with the rest of my team as well, but as I am unable to start playing tennis fully just yet. I am just focusing on my fitness for now to be ready to go once I am actually able to get on the court.

When it comes to rest, are you treating each week like you're at a tournament, or do you allow yourself to sleep in (or stay up) late when desired?

Since this is quite a different situation from our regular season and even preseason, I do give myself a bit more freedom in my daily life and the times I go to bed and wake up. I do try to keep it within reason. I now have more time to do things I don’t typically get to do as much during the season like learning new skills, cooking, reading and watching TV shows.

What are some unexpected activities that have managed to keep you occupied? 

My baby Yuanbao (my dog) has been a constant source of entertainment and I am glad I have him around to go on walks and play games with!