Updated: Jan 6
It’s been a little while since I last updated you… As you probably already saw, I made it into the final of the PBL in India with my team, the North Eastern Warriors. Three weeks of hard training in India with my team mates from Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong and obviously also India definitely paid off! We reached the final after defeating the Chennai Superstarz by 3 to -1 in the semifinal without me needing to go on court.
The -1 point for the Chennai Supserstarz was possible because in the PBL they play with a trump match in each tie. The teams had to select one match as their trump match before each tie, and if we won that match it would give us 2 points. But if the trump match was lost it would give one minus point to the team. With this system the semifinal was decided even before I entered court, reason for which my match wasn’t played.
Very close final
In the finals we played against the Bengaluru Raptors in front of all the Bengaluru favored spectators and I was up against Tai Tzu Ying. Sadly for me she drew the longest straw and won in straight games. Coming off the match I felt a bit disappointed I couldn’t give me team a point. I felt I could perform better but because of Tai’s high quality game she restricted a lot of my options. So even though it’s a loss, I will take it with me moving forward and learn from it and keep doing better. Our team ended up losing in the final 2-4… 🙁 … but we put up an incredible fight in the mixed doubles! We were actually only 1 point away from the championship title!!
Of course losing the final was quite disappointing given how we had played so well during several weeks and made many good results on the way. On the other hand, finishing as runners-up in the PBL is a really great result for us as a team, and a really great experience for me as a player!!! ??✌️ I really enjoyed playing all the team matches with the whole setup and the many spectators in India. I had an amazing time just cheering and supporting everyone on the team! It really is a different feeling from playing and touring around the world alone.
One of the major reasons I wanted to take part in the PBL was to get lots of good training with other top players and play some high level matches. As I spoke about before, I don’t have the same training options when I am back home in Canada. So spending three weeks in a team with talented individuals like Lee Yong Dae, Kim Ha Na, Bodin Isara, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Lee Cheuk Yiu, Rutaparna Panda, Krishna Prasad Garaga, Kaushal Dharmamer, Ashmita Chaliha, and our team coach Edwin Iriawan was just an absolute privilege for me!
You probably also already saw in my social media posts that I was also joined by my coach and my physiotherapist, Kan Chao Yu and Ethel Hsu, and they made sure my stay in India wasn’t all holiday. 🙂 It was great to have them with me and monitor my training and treatments. I am forever grateful for this experience and can take so much away from this. I went into the PBL looking to continue developing my game but came out with so much more and making new teammates and new friends in the process.
To be honest, I was a little sad to leave the team in the end, but it was definitely time to go home for everyone. 😕 There is no doubt we will all meet again very soon. This has really connected us in such a different and higher level, which is something I am really grateful for! This is something I can miss every now and then when I am mostly travelling on my own… So I have nothing but appreciation for participating in PBL with the North Eastern Warriors for the second time! 😀
As soon as the final was played I had to rush to the airport to catch the first of my three very long flights. Destination: Home! So now I have been back in Canada for a few days, extremely tired and fully jetlagged - but it has been great! I have missed my family and friends here, but maybe you already know the Pan Am Team Championships have kicked off in Brazil. So as you read these words I am already in the country of samba… I will update you again from there very soon!