Back on track!

Yes! After an absence of six months we could finally play our first tournament this week. And where better than in my own home arena of my club 1.BV Mülheim. I really looked forward to the time we were able to play tournaments again. Apart from the German League matches I hadn’t played since the Belgian Open last September. All I could do was training and exercising which I don’t dislike but of course I want to be able to compete with the rest of the international circuit and that I could not. I have had difficult moments, and every now and then it was hard to go on every day, but the saying “after rain comes sunshine” has helped me a lot to get through this period.

And so the sun came out this week. Not so much in the form of a top achievement , but in the form of being present again at an international event. Wednesday we started playing a Swedish pair, Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom . A pair which does a good job in the EBU circuit and keeps place 37 on the ranking. For us it was a good draw to get back on court. After we had won the first game and lost the second game, we started the third game aggressively and we managed to take a comfortable lead . Halfway through the third game, the referee called all four of us together and told that Ruponen wished to take a short timeout for taking painkillers. ”Do not tell them” he said to the referee somewhat frustrated. It made me laugh. But even though we did not know what was actually bothering him, it was clear that he was in pain. Meanwhile, we continued playing well, but at a score of 17-9 the Swedes threw in the towel. Nico had too much pain. An unfortunate ending, but we had been on course for a win and that felt good . On to round two the next day!

In that second round we met the Hong Kong Chinese Lee and Chau. We played them once before, which was last summer in the final of the Grand Prix Canada Open. Than we didn’t stand a chance and we lost in two games. Yesterday was a very different story. The tactics we had discussed beforehand worked well and we succeeded to win the first game by playing well focussed. In the second game we came under pressure from the start and because of some unnecessary mistakes we soon were well behind. An arrears which we couldn’t make up so this game was for the Chinese. In the third game we again didn’t start well. Especially the service of the Chinese lady got us into trouble now and then. But by working hard, we managed to keep the gap between us bridgeable and to stay close to them. It was exciting all the time and Lee started to get a bit nervous. A simple half court miss and a poor service return brought us to the score of 18-19. But unfortunately we missed that little bit of luck to finish the game and win it. So our Hong Kong Chinese opponents made it to the quarterfinals. We had opportunities but we didn’t make the most of them yet. We played well and right at our comeback! I am very happy with it!

Meanwhile, today’s training is already over. The German Open was the first tournament of a series of three, and of course we want to stay focussed and be well prepared! Next week we will play in the qualifying tournament of the All England. In September, before Samantha got injured, our ranking was 24 which granted us direct access to the main tournaments. Now we are around position 50 and thus we are dependent on the qualifying tournament. Obviously this is very difficult but that’s the way it is, and we will do our utmost to get into the main tournament! We are scheduled to meet the Irish Magee / Magee, the Danish Kolding / Juhl and the English Coles / Lim. The tournament can be followed via http://www.tournamentsoftware.com and next week I will try to keep you informed on Facebook and Twitter!

I wish you all a nice weekend!

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