Serving with a 3-2 lead during USTA League Tennis District Championships in New Jersey last month, Liu tore her Achilles’ tendon on her serve.
“I heard the pop and I knew something was wrong,” said Liu, who plays on a New Jersey-based 7.0 mixed doubles team. “I couldn’t run. I couldn’t move.”
So Liu did the opposite of what was expected. She didn’t ask for help getting off the court. She didn’t call an ambulance. She didn’t even put down her racquet.
Instead, she won the match.
“Five games later, we won the set,” she said.
Her team eventually won the match and qualified for USTA Middle States Section Championships, which took place this past weekend at Hempfield Area Recreation Center. Her team finished in second place, and Liu was there to cheer them on each step of the way.
“She was tough,” said one team member. “I don’t know how she did it,” added another.
Liu herself was unsure.
“People say that when they tear their Achilles, they can’t even stand,” she said. “Somehow I was able to.”
Liu recently underwent surgery and is set to get her hard cast off in the near future. From there, she’ll go through physical therapy.
The worst part of this whole thing?
“I miss playing tennis,” she said with a laugh.
Liu said she’ll be back on the court as soon as possible, and hopes to be back at Section Championships — and actually competing — in the next year.