It’s been great to finally get back out there after being sidelined for almost 5 months. It hasn’t been easy though. I had plans to have a strong off season in December and start off the year in January. My injury had other plans for me. I was delayed another 3 weeks at the start of January. Not being able to play Australian Open for 2 consecutive years really hit me hard.
I started my journey back playing in a Japanese company league. As some of you may know Japan is quite cold during this time of the year, a few bits of snow flakes fall sometimes, but that’s about it (my sarcasm coming into play). Even though we played indoors this particular facility didn’t have heating so we were playing in 35-40 degree weather. I’m wearing leggings and skin tight long sleeves all through my first match and I still feel cold. Aside from the weather I had a great time getting back into competition mode in a team setting. I forgot how much I missed playing on a team (Michigan days). Our team ending up advancing to the final rounds and we were the eventual winners !
After Japan League I decided my body was ready enough to get back into tournament mode so I took my long awaited trip to Australia for the first time. It wasn’t for the Australian Open, but I was still ecstatic to get back out there. I had a tough go in the first 2 weeks back, losing two close 3 set matches. The comeback has been a bit tougher than I thought it would be. This has been my longest time off since playing on the tour and I thought I could pick off where I left off. Patience. This is the one thing in the last few weeks I’ve been trying to encourage myself to do. At the top level of tennis every little detail matters and when you take an extended amount of time off there things that may be off or that need fine tuning. This is biggest thing I’ve learned since starting back again.
After Australia I flew back to Taiwan to play Davis Cup for the first time. Going into Davis Cup I was a little worried about playing 3 out of 5 sets for the first time; wasn’t sure if my body was ready to handle the pounding. I was also a bit more nervous than usual before the match. I remember playing at Michigan during my college days I would get pretty nervous only because I was playing not only for myself, but for my school. This time I was playing for Taiwan.
Results did not go as planned as we lost two 5 set matches on the first day. I had 2 match points in my match, but was battling with some stomach problems throughout the match so I was unable to finish in the 5th set. It was a great experience playing a 5 set match for the first time though. I will definitely have more experience going into a 3 out of 5 set match next time. Our team lost, but I had a great time battling with the Taiwan team.
I’m on my way back to Japan. Hopefully not too cold!!
See ya there!