LAST week we heard from wheelchair tennis star Lucy Shuker - who trained at Taunton Tennis Centre during her time living in Somerset - about the shockwaves caused by coronavirus, with Wimbledon being cancelled for 2020.

Here is part two of our interview.

Shuker is optimistic that the tennis world will be able to survive the effects of the pandemic, and that the appetite for playing the sport remains as strong as ever.

“From what I understand the Grand Slams are all combining to support tennis as a wider sport, and national associations that might have been struggling due to tournaments not going ahead,” she said.

“With British tennis, players are very much wanting to help create funds, so the able-bodied guys have a fundraising tournament [‘Battle of the Brits’, which took place last week in Roehampton] going on.

“While lockdown is still going on and people are still furloughed, tennis courts in parks are open and it’s nice to see so many people playing tennis.

“I think that’s great for the sport, whether people are taking it up at elite level or recreationally with family and friends.

“I don’t think the appetite [for tennis] will go anywhere,” she added.

“I love tennis and I love wheelchair tennis, and I feel very fortunate that on a day-to-day basis I’m able to train and play tennis full-time.

“That for me has helped with my disability, it’s helped me deal with it on a day-to-day basis.

“So hopefully people won’t take it for granted, and hopefully with the Paralympics still looming next year, there will still be that drive for people to succeed, as in any sport.”

Shuker, who won bronze in the women’s doubles at London 2012 and Rio 2016, is targeting a Paralympic return in Tokyo - and could well go there a better player than ever.

“I think this time has been really positive for me and hopefully I’m going to come back into competition a better player, despite the time off, so that’s quite exciting,” she said.

“For me there’s always things you can improve upon, and this has just given me time to do stuff and think outside the box, and hopefully be a better tennis player.

“The Paralympics generally come around every four years, but obviously this is a five-year gap.

“Outside of that we have 20 tournaments a year that I would normally compete in, including four Grand Slams - which in the wheelchair world you have to be top seven [in the world rankings] or a wildcard to get in.

“So it’s extremely tough just to qualify for a Slam, and that to me is the driving force.

“I want to do well at all competitions, and the Paralympics is somewhere I’d love to be on the podium and hear my national anthem being played if I get a gold medal.

“When I do the fitness sessions - which are really difficult at times - that helps drive me.”