What goes through the mind of an elite athlete returning from injury/surgery?
Check out what three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings had to say leading up to her Xiamen Four-Star debut on Tuesday.
Follow @KerriLeeWalsh as she dominates the court and gives it her all this week at the seventh annual @FIVBVolleyball World Tour edition in Xiamen, China! #Play1440 pic.twitter.com/jbiqKDxj5Q
— p1440 (@platform1440) April 18, 2018
While the beach superstar shared with VolleyMob about her physical preparations for her 2018 debut, it appears it took Walsh Jennings a little longer to get past the nerves and get back on her mental game.
Once back on the court, however, it seems everything was fine as she and partner Nicole Branagh, the No. 17 seed at the Xiamen Four-Star, recorded a Pool A three-set win over No. 16 seed Kim Behrens/Sandra Ittlinger of German. The match was not without its trails, however, as the duo dropped the opening set 21-14 before rebounding with 21-14, 15-4 victories.
The pair’s next match will offer another big test of fitness and preparation as it faces No. 1 overall seed Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada at 11:20 p.m. ET Thursday.
Pavan/Humana-Paredes have been on a roll so far during the 2018 season, winning gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games April 12 and finishing fifth at the Fort Lauderdale Five Star, March 4. The duo ended 2017 on a tear, posting Top 5 finishes at seven of their last eight events, including gold at the Porec Five Star (July 1), silver at the Rio Four Star (May 21) and Olsztyn Four Star (July 23) and bronze at the Gstaad Five Star (July 9).
Coming into the Xiamen Four-Star, Walsh Jennings and Branagh last played at the Olszytn Four-Star, where the former was injured in the semifinals. The fourth-place finish was the duo’s best of the season in four tournaments.