On the 23rd of February, four of our members (Kailun Yang, Qiyao Peng, Anand Thamban and me) joined the recreational tournament organised by BC Delft. The tournament only had doubles (including mixed) matches, in two broad categories – “beginner” and “advanced” (up to competition 8th division). Furthermore, being a recreational tournament, there were no regular 3-set games, instead only a single set up to 30 points or a maximum of 15 minutes. All of us decided to register in the “advanced” category which proved to be quite challenging in the end!
The first half of the day consisted of men’s and women’s doubles, followed by mixed doubles in the second half. Our first matches started quite early, around 9:30. Kailun and Qiyao got off to a great start, winning their first match (30-24) in the pool. On the other hand, Anand and me, lost our first match by a pretty big margin (12-30). Our bad run continued even in the second match, which we lost 18-30. Qiyao and Kailun, unfortunately lost their second match too (26-30), which was closely contested. This seemed to have caused a ripple effect, in which they ended up losing their next four matches, with the last one again going down to the wire (27-30). By virtue of total points, they finished 4th overall. Anand and me finally managed a win (30-20) under our belts, in our last pool game, finishing 3rd/last in our group (the fourth team in our group withdrew from the tournament). Interestingly, in the men’s doubles (which had two groups of 4 teams), there was also a knock-out round for the bottom two placed teams of each group. As a result, Anand and me then played the 4th-placed team of the other group, which we won 30-20. Our next knock-out match was a very close one, which tested the nerves of both teams. Sadly, we ended up on the losing side (28-30). However, on the bright side, we found ourselves placed 3rd overall, for mysterious reasons! I still haven’t been able to figure out how we leapfrogged from being last in our pool-group to 3rd in the final rankings!! I am not complaining though :)
After the lunch break, the mixed doubles matches began, in which Qiyao and me partnered. Our first two games didn’t go too well, losing them both 19-30. We had a consolation win however, in our last (pool) match of the tournament, which we won 30-21. I guess all’s well that end’s well!
Overall, the tournament was well-organised and enjoyable. The best part was that we didn’t have to wait too long between matches. I would recommend this tournament to all beginner/intermediate players in our club. Looking forward to the next edition!
Written by: Varun Nair