PETALING JAYA: Missing Deepavali celebrations with her family for the fourth consecutive year is not a setback for women’s doubles player M. Thinaah.
She is more relieved with the fact that she is able to compete again with her partner Pearly Tan at the Denmark and French Opens later this month.
Thinaah’s last Deepavali at home was in 2018 and she has been been competing in Europe during the festive season since then.
Deepavali falls on Oct 24 this year and Pearly-Thinaah will be competing at the Denmark Open in Odense from Oct 18-23 followed by the French Open in Paris from Oct 25-30.
Thinaah is delighted with the way Pearly, who suffered a hamstring injury during the Japan Open, has shown quick recovery and wasn’t thinking about missing the festive season.
“My family will be sad that I’m not around but as a player, the sacrifice is worth it. What is more pleasing is that Pearly has started training again and we are looking forward to competing at the Denmark and French Opens,” said the 24-year-old Thinaah.
“The last time I celebrated Deepavali was in 2018 but it was done a few days before as I had to leave for competition. They have come to understand my situation and have expected it.
“Deepavali is normally celebrated during the European season and we can’t miss these two big events. We still have two weeks and Pearly’s progress has been very good.
“She started court training last week but going through more intense training.”
“Pearly is very determined and doesn’t like to rest too long. I’m happy because we have been waiting for some time for her to recover but at the same time, I don’t want it to be a rush for her to make a comeback,” added Thinaah.
“I think that it’s definitely exciting to play at the Denmark and France. We have been training and preparing while Pearly is also doing really good during physiotherapy, rehab and recovery.”
National doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky said their chances to compete in the Denmark and French Opens are high.
Pearly, 22, did not show any discomfort during training and her physical condition will be further evaluated when training is intensified, which would include two against three sessions, next week.
“Of course getting results is one thing – everybody wants results, but we want to just focus on one thing at a time,” concluded Thinaah.
Pearly-Thinaah, the world No. 11, will play against Supissara Paewsampran-Putita Supajirakul of Thailand in the first round of the Denmark Open.
As for Thinaah, she would be happier sacrificing Deepavali celebrations and return to competitions in Europe with Pearly.