|Posted by Anna Rice on July 14, 2009 at 11:51 AM|
I was thrilled to have won the U.S. Open title this past weekend in Orange County, California. This Grand Prix event is the biggest tournament held in North America and has always been one of my favorite events, since the sun is constantly shining and there is a cool atmosphere amongst the players.
This tournament win is my biggest title so far, and I really didn't expect it after spending almost three months in Uganda. But actually, I did continue with good training while I was in Uganda, and in fact I feel much more mentally tough since my return, so in hindsight I think the trip was great for my badminton.
The tournament was a real challenge, since after my first two rounds I wasn't sure if I would even be able to continue playing because I had a muscle pull in my right leg. But I just kept taking it one match at a time and thankfully we only had to play one match per day, which gave my body time to recover. With lots of ice and some physio therapy, the muscle pull was manageable. In the finals, I defeated Mona Santoso, an indonesian player living in the U.S. I had never seen her play before though I had heard of her. Her physical conditioning was weak by the time of the finals, on which I was happy to capitalize. But, she does have the biggest smash I've ever encountered in women's badminton!
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Duong and Thu Phan and their family for hosting me at their home during the tournament. Their hospitality and cheering support (not to mention the awesome Vietnamese food they fed me ; ) definitely contributed to my victory. I'd also like the thank all my friends for helping to coach me throughout the week.
Phan Family, my hosts for the week
The U.S. Open Trophies are the biggest on the badminton circuit
Celebration dinner Saturday night at a Cuban restaurant with friends.
(Big Mohito headaches the next morning ; )
So now it's time to look ahead to the World Championships. Hopefully I can keep this winning streak going all the way to Hyderabad, India next month.