The Hague, The Netherlands, June 11, 2013 – It is the first time ever that Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira had to start in qualification, but they were smiling their faces off during their first match on Tuesday at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam. After months of pain and agony Herrera is finally back on the World Tour.
“I am very happy to be back”, Herrera said after their win over Swiss team Bernhard Beyeler and Rafael Bissig (21-13 21-17). “I had a rough time this winter. I had a lot of pain and frustration of not being able to play.”
Surgery or no surgery
After the London 2012 Olympic Games, where the Spanish pair finished ninth, the doctor told Herrera his knee needed rest and recovery. But after a few months the doctor told him he needed surgery after all. Part of the patella tendon in his right knee, which troubled him before, was torn. It meant five more months of recovery.
Two weeks ago Herrera made his comeback on the beach volleyball sand at the Masters in Baden. “I was so happy I could finally play. I almost cried.” The pain is gone and they plan to play as many tournaments as possible to get into shape again. “I am now at 60-70 percent”, Herrera said.
In his absence Gavira played with Christian Garcia at the Fuzhou Open and the Shanghai Grand Slam. Gavira: “I just had to be patient and wait for Pablo and keep on training.”
Qualification for the time being
Because they missed so many events they do not have enough points anymore to enter directly in main draw. “It is the first time we, as a team, play qualification”, Gavira said. “It is difficult, we play all these young teams we don’t know.”
“Now we just play and play and hope the knee holds”, Herrera said. “And luckily we do have enough points to play at the World Championship in Poland.”
The Spanish team reached main draw later on Tuesday after defeating USA's Nick Lucena and John Hyden (21-16 21-10) in their second qualification match.
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