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  • Writer's pictureBen Stannard

Dr Frankie J-S: How lockdown reignited my love of tennis

Carrying on from our Summer series of blogs, My Tennis Events sat down (still virtually!) with social media starlet, Dr Frankie Jackson-Spence (@DrFrankieJS).

The 27 year-old is an NHS Doctor and Media Medic, whose profile offers factual and relatable health information. The Birmingham University graduate has amassed over 33,000 followers and growing – during lockdown she has been playing a lot of tennis. We wanted to find out more about Frankie’s love of the sport and what else she has been up to during the Pandemic.

“I remember (growing up in Yorkshire) and obviously given the land size we had lots of space to play with friends (…) I remember we were so keen to play at home, we would use bikes as nets.” She has come a long way since then – playing 2/3 times a week regularly at Lee Valley, West Ham and Drummond tennis clubs where she has recommenced competing, this Summer.

With the NHS recommending 150 minutes per week of cardio activity, tennis is a perfect sport – especially during COVID- given the ability to play one-on-one at a safe distance. “For me, I love being outdoors; especially given I spend my working days often in a hospital environment.” Frankie said the physical and mental challenge of tennis, can often be a great alternative to traditional gym work and activities. “I see tennis as one of the exciting activities of my week, gym can become repetitive.” I asked how we should be preparing ourself for a match or arduous training session, “always try to eat good quality, slow-release carbs where possible before training”, and “keeping hydrated is essential (…) sometimes even if you don’t feel like you need water you likely will and this will help you during a longer match or session”.

Given Frankie’s busy schedule and rapid rise in the medical world, I asked if she has time to still follow tennis, she does. Like many, her infatuation with tennis began through Wimbledon and the other grand slams. She pointed back, to following the rise of former British Junior champion, Laura Robson on TV, and the 2010 classic between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner. “Wimbledon is a summer staple for me, it’s a real treat and highlight and I find the players really inspiring. I used to love watching Wimbledon, it was a real treat when I was revising for my exams.”

What’s next? Frankie wants to focus on improving her game through more match play and private tuition. A great distraction from her budding media career and great work she is doing for the NHS. Frankie has recently partnered with brands such as Clinique and Barbells, and MTE wishes Frankie the best in the next chapter of her journey. We’re confident we will be seeing and hearing a lot more of her.

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