New Delhi [India], January 13 (ANI): Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal said that she came to participate in the India Open 2022, just to see performance after her knee and groin tear in October.
Saina on Thursday bowed out of the ongoing Indian Open 2022 here at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi. Malvika Bansod defeated Nehwal 21-17, 21-9 in the second-round match which lasted for 35 minutes.
“So as you know that the groin tear was there from October 25 to I would say I started playing on December 27. The problem with the knee was that I could see only with the days going by as I could not push as the patella is an important part of a knee and it would only improve with the load that I am putting, so, that I could only put after January 2 and 3. So whatever time I got in these 10 days, I tried to improve my court movements. I couldn’t do so much of my physical fitness but I am happy that the body could play those two matches. I didn’t have to give up anywhere because of my groin and knee but I could play those shots like today when Malvika was playing a lot of close drops and she was playing good tosses,” said Saina after her second-round game against Malvika.
“Last time when I played in October, I couldn’t play those difficult shots but today I am happy that I did good strengthening of my groin and knee and I was moving on the court. But the problem which now remains is that fitness is not there so you cannot fight with the players who are very good like Malvika is good, Akashi is good, Sindhu is good. I came here to see where I stand. I should be where I am to participate in the upcoming tournaments. That way I think the body is good but the fitness level needs to be worked on,” she added.
Talking about Malvika, Saina said that she is a very good player who has been very well at the highest level.
“She (Malvika) is very good. She is doing well at the highest level and she is going to improve. She is a very good rally player. I hope she does well in the tournament,” said Saina.
The 31-year-old Saina was trailing 5-7 in the first game, and Malvika was in no mood to let this advantage and she ended up winning the first game 21-17.
Bansod then did not look back, and she continued with her momentum, winning the match inside 35 minutes. (ANI)