‘If You Really Want to See Badminton, You Have to Come Here’

She told her parents they just had to see what badminton meant to Indonesia. And so Selena Piek brought them over for her final Indonesia Open.

The Dutch world No.13 is in the evening of her career – this is likely her last year, and she wanted her parents Tjapko and Monica to experience the headiness of badminton at the Istora.

“It’s the best audience in the world. My parents are here, so that makes it even more special,” said Piek, following her second round loss. “I’m so happy they are here.

“It’s something else. I don’t think anywhere in the world people love badminton as much as they do here. It’s like you can feel it when their players lose – they’re almost crying and that’s something you don’t see often in our sport. And they give us nice gifts of course. It’s crazy, people coming to your hotel and bringing stuff for you, food for you. I really appreciate that.”

Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek

Her father Tjapko was a football player, but insisted on his daughter not taking up the sport due to its risk of injury. Although they haven’t accompanied her often – the Indonesia Open was only their fourth event courtside – they have keenly followed her career.

“She said if you really want to see badminton, you have to come here,” said Tjapko. “She’s been playing badminton for so long. Maybe this is her last year. She’s played so long at this level, and that’s amazing.”

Her last appearance at the Indonesia Open though was anti-climactic. Playing the second round against Kim Won Ho and Jeong Na Eun, the Dutch duo couldn’t get their game going and fell in straight games. As she walked off court, possibly for the final time at the Istora, she didn’t wait to soak in the moment; the loss seemed to weigh too heavily on her mind.

“I was only thinking of the match,” said Piek. “It wasn’t on my mind that this was my last match. I can be very emotional but if I do that before the match… I was only thinking of playing really well, and therefore I’m really disappointed that we didn’t manage to do that. So I’m frustrated that we got a right gameplan but we were not able to execute it.”

The Dutch duo will look to make an impact at the Olympics. Having played their final pre-Olympic event, the next few weeks will be about final preparations.

“This is the last one (before the Olympics). Now we got back home, train hard and be in really good shape and hopefully beat some good pairs at the Olympics. Plenty of weeks to prepare and bring a big level to the Olympics.”

As for the Indonesia Open and the fans — “I will really really miss them. I’ve played over 10 years in Istora. It has been amazing and I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me.”

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