Posted on 30th May 2023
By RJ Mitchell
JULIE MACPHERSON has shared the moment her season was almost put in jeopardy when she suffered a training accident just ahead of her four tournament far east swing.
The Scottish Mixed doubles champion was in Kuala Lumpur completing her first training session for the Perodua Malaysian Masters when injury struck a week past on Sunday.
Fortunately a combination of determination and some excellent physio, courtesy of staff at the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament, the Scotland international made an amazing recovery even being able to play through her ladies doubles match just 48hours later.
Julie told us it was a moment which could have gone either way: “It was our first session in Malaysia on Sunday morning and I was warming up with a run and I jumped to turn around and landed on ledge I wasn’t aware of and I just felt something go.
“Obviously it was a real concern and I got the ice on it as soon as possible but it was really sore to walk on and on Monday morning I was limping a good bit and I think all the muscles around it had tightened up.
“Fortunately I got a physio at the hall and then another physio on Monday night but the Women’s Doubles came on Tuesday morning and I had to have even more physio before the match.
“I was taped up quite a bit and I was pretty worried about moving and putting any pressure on the ankle and although I did get on court it was a struggle and Ciara and I lost to a Chinese Taipei pairing in straight sets.
“But although that was disappointing it could have been a lot worse.”
With more physio, Julie’s ankle continued to improve and partnering Adam Hall, the duo defeated an Indonesian pair the next day in the mixed doubles before losing to Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith of England in the second round.
Julie continued: “The ankle improved with each day and I just had treatment on it every day and although it was not 100% in the mixed there was an improvement.
“But Marcus (Ellis) and Lauren (Smith) just played a good match and even if my ankle had been okay it would have been tough to win it. But, yes, I was lacking speed and any confidence in being able to push off.
“This week out in Thailand we have Kerry O’Hara the physio out from the Institute of Sport and that has made a big difference.
“I had quite a good training session with the Dutch girls at the weekend and the ankle was definitely better and hopefully it continues to improve with each day.””
Now as she prepares to go again at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand Open there is tough opposition waiting in both the Mixed and Women’s Doubles on Wednesday.
In the mixed Julie and Adam face the No2 seeded Koreans Seo Seung Jae & Chae Yu Jung who are currently world ranked No.4 and the Scotland international admitted: “Both matches will be Wednesday but either way it will be very difficult. For the mixed we obviously know the Koreans and they are top -10 in the rankings and they had a good week in Malaysia and made the semis.
“They are also two left handers and the guy Seo won the men’s doubles in Malaysia so he has played a lot of matches and maybe that will catch up with him but it is going to be very difficult.
“Adam and I have played a Hong Kong pair who were both left handers but we have no lefties in the squad to practise against so we will have to visualise hitting to specific areas in this respect.
“We just need to avoid falling into the trap of their set plays. With them both being lefties you don’t want to be playing to your usual patterns if that is putting the shuttlecock on their forehand so we must be wary of that.”
In the women’s tournament it doesn’t get any easier with Julie and Ciara facing Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu & Siti Ramadhanti who are also second seeds and Julie admitted: “The women’s doubles will also be a tough one as they are ranked No.4 in the world but you want to test yourselves against the best and this week we are certainly going to get that opportunity.”
The Thailand Open is the second of a four tournament sequence and a key part of the season and as Julie admitted the timing of her injury is far from ideal.
Yet bravely she will continue to soldier on: “Hopefully the ankle continues to improve but it is going to be tricky combining playing with trying to improve the ankle but definitely having Kerry out with us will be a big plus in that respect.
“With Malaysia last week, Thailand this week and then Singapore and Indonesia still to come so it is pretty full on.
“Plus with Olympic qualification starting earlier this month everyone is determined to get as many points on the board as they can to make a strong start in that respect so as I said it is not a great time to pick up an injury.”