Ace Apisah preparing for Mini Games

National tennis champion Abigail Tere-Apisah in action during high performance testing and screening in preparation for the June 17-25 Pacific Mini Games. – hpspngpics

NATIONAL champion Abigail Tere-Apisah says her performance in the June 17-25 Pacific Mini Games in the Northern Marianas will determine whether she will continue her tennis career or choose a different path.
Part of the national tennis team, the 29-year-old had recently returned to the court after the birth of her son, Luca, last August.
“I am actually going to use the Mini Games to see whether I truly want to resume competing,” she told The National yesterday.
“There are a lot of things I want to do outside of competing, so I just have a lot to think about and see how I go during the Mini Games.
“I’d like to see where I’m at.
“But my goal for now is to go and give it my best shot.
“In saying that, I still feel pretty confident that I can still make it to playoffs, quarterfinals and semifinals, I still feel confident that I can do it.”
Apisah said it was a challenge to return to the court after being out for almost a year.
But with support from her family and partner, national men’s football team skipper Alwin Komolong, she has managed to balance work, training and her duties as a mum.
“I’ve been out for almost a year after having my son, so I was really excited to get back on the court,” Apisah said.
“But obviously, it was still a bit hard physically trying to get back into shape.
“The first couple of weeks when I was back in the gym, that was definitely really tough.

Papua New Guinea tennis No.1 Abigail Tere-Apisah has a career-high Women’s Tennis Association singles ranking of 276.

“I could feel how much my body went through and trying to get back into things. “Fitness-wise, I wasn’t quite there yet in the beginning, but I was just excited to get back on the court.
“But right now, everything is going well.
“I’m going to the gym, using high performance training and conditioning twice a week, and trying to hit as much as I can on the tennis court during the week.
“I haven’t quite been hitting every day yet due to work, coaching and my baby.”
Apisah said the last time she competed in a tournament was two years ago.
“January or February, 2020, was my last competition, I believe I was in Thailand,” she said.
“So for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be undergoing more match-style practices to get into a match mindset.
“Technically, I feel fine hitting the ball, it never really goes away.
“But for me, it’s just how I’m going to do in a match, thinking strategically, tactically, all that kind of things.
“It’s just tough on me because I’ve been full on with coaching and motherly responsibilities, so practice really hasn’t been on full mode.
“I’ve been doing a lot of junior development coaching at the Port Moresby Racquets Club, but I also do my private coaching around town.
“So that’s what’s also been keeping me very busy in the mornings and afternoons.
“I coach juniors and adults.
“Hopefully, in the last two weeks before we travel, I can cut down on a bit of work and just focus solely on tennis and trying to get into that competition mindset.
“I want to wish Team PNG the best and I look forward to representing our country proudly.”