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'Rain delays are mind-numbing - this is how I get through them'

Danielle Collins lifts the Miami Open trophy
[BBC]

American player Danielle Collins is enjoying one of the finest seasons of her life, having moved back into the WTA top 10 and lifting the biggest title of her career in Miami. In her second BBC Sport column at a wet French Open, Collins explains how she gets through rain-disrupted days.

Rain has disrupted the past few days of the French Open and I find waiting around to play on days like these to be mind-numbing.

On Wednesday, I was due to play my second-round match against Serbia's Olga Danilovic but it was called off because of the rain and moved to Thursday.

I had a feeling I wouldn’t be playing based off the weather radar. I’m certainly not a meteorologist, but I’ve become pretty decent at this point at predicting the likelihood.

I was lucky enough to find a sofa to take a nap on. When I woke up, it was nice to see a fellow American watching TV in the same room.

We took advantage of the quiet and talked for a few minutes, and then I decided to get some of my marathon training in since my match was cancelled.

I got on the treadmill and did some interval training. Running has been a great outlet for me on monotonous days.

It has made such a big difference getting to have my boyfriend, Bryan, at many of my tournaments this year.

His positive energy and calming demeanour makes my good days great and my tougher days a little less challenging by having him by my side.

It’s also been nice having my good friends Ben and Kim here supporting me this week too. Kim is an attorney and Bryan works at a life sciences and diagnostics company, so it’s really interesting getting to learn about what both of them do and different projects they’re both working on.

Bryan brought a new game for us to all play and we’ve had some good laughs while playing 'Pass The Pigs'.

On the weeks I travel solo, and don’t have my loved ones here, the environment can be very different and extremely boring.

Often I find myself reading books, or pinteresting all of the new kitchen and bathroom ideas I have in mind for when I retire at the end of this season and get to spend more time at home next year!

'Waiting around allows players to have a catch-up'

Tennis players are usually very focused individuals, so they often stick to spending the majority of their time with their teams.

However, at this point in my career, I’ve thankfully got to know pretty much everyone and a lot of their families.

I’ve been really lucky to have had a lot of close friendships on tour, but many of them had off days today or were on the other side of site so I didn’t see as many. In the dining area and locker room, I like to chat with the other players and ask how everyone is doing.

Today, I stopped to chat with Katerina Siniakova, Zhang Shuai and Donna Vekic.

Of course, we are professional athletes and all here to compete with dreams of lifting the trophy.

You can definitely sense some of the nerves and emotions at times, and it’s especially the case during Grand Slams.

I have been missing my close friend Alison Riske. She is pregnant, and her baby girl is due in July.

We exchanged some messages back and forth, and I have been doing lots of online shopping for the baby’s arrival.

'Why these days can lead to sadness'

For someone like myself who likes to have some sort of life away from the tennis courts, these days can make me feel low.

I’ve found myself playing really great tennis some days but when you are supposed to go on at a certain time, say not before 2pm, I get there about 11am, I do my warm-up, see the physio, I eat – and then from 2pm to almost midnight I’m twiddling my thumbs and wondering when I’m going to go on.

I’ve thought maybe eight or nine times I’m going on, and then there is a men’s match and then there’s rain, all these factors which push things back.

By the end of the day, you walk away feeling as if your day has got away from you.

Obligations or commitments you would have like to have fulfilled outside of the tennis court don’t get accomplished.

On the tennis side of it, I’ve had to work very hard on being able to perform at the highest level, physically and mentally, on those days.

It takes a concentrated effort, you have to be aware of how mind-numbing it is and it puts you to sleep.

I have had to figure out how can I be as physically primed as possible to play with the energy I need to be at the highest level given less than ideal circumstances.

That has taken me some time to figure out and sometimes that causes sadness.

They’re challenging for all players. They’re not the worst thing in life but they are difficult.

Danielle Collins was speaking to BBC Sport's Jonathan Jurejko at Roland Garros.

Danielle's previous BBC Sport columns