China & Vietnam - July 2019
We arrived in China – Wow! This tournament is a pretty big deal.... way bigger than Malaysia. What an amazing place. Cool, but very different.
Things started well... I won my first round of qualifying comfortably, and was up a set in the next round; I was still ahead in the second, when my back started to spasm and I couldn't move as I needed. Serving became a real issue. I stayed in the match, but just couldn't compete, not as I needed to, and while it all ended with a narrow loss, I was really disappointed. My back issue was a problem in doubles. We thought about coming home, the Vietnam tournament was just a week away and our budget really tight. What if I wasn't able to compete? Maybe we should just head home, and cut our losses? It was a really tough call and pretty upsetting either way. We decided to stay, and hoped my back would recover. We got to Vietnam early and kept things pretty easy - resting up and only pushing into my practice gently. The back felt better going into the tournament. The doubles format required short deuces (so it was anybody's game). Frustratingly, we lost the majority of our short deuces (eventually going out in a super tiebreaker). But as we know, tennis is a funny game and the silver lining of losing the doubles meant less matches and more recovery time. Last week was a good week - winning all the singles with what was later described to me as "very efficient play" and, my first ITF singles title! 😊