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Saina confident of bouncing back

Mumbai: Star India shuttler Saina Nehwal is confident of bouncing back to somewhere close to where she was before her knee surgery after the Rio Olympics last year.

The Hyderabad ace, however, conceded that she felt a bit apprehensive in attacking the net and to overcome it she is working hard with coach Vimal Kumar.

“There is nothing much that can be planned as of now.

The surgery phase was a little difficult. It is not easy to come back after such a surgery because there are a lot of movements you suddenly forget. The cross movement is a struggle to deal with, and it takes time to get your movement back,” Saina told reporters here today.

Saina spoke at the Edelweiss Brain Bout Season 2 Quiz finale.

“Fitness is important because of the scheduling of back to back tournaments. I can see that I am not very far from my best. It will come with a 5-6 week break,” said the former women’s world no. 1 and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist.

“There will definitely be issues when you come out of injury, it remains in your mind. I don’t feel it as it is a natural phenomenon. But we are working on the net area”, she said.

About improving her ranking from current world no. 9 Saina said, “I am not thinking about ranking, it’s about winning tournaments. Ranking will obviously improve by winning tournaments.”

“I never lost a match badly and have given my best. As of now I am not hurrying in any way. I had played only three super series and the Asian Championship,” said Saina.

Saina said she intended to play in Thailand Open, Indonesian Open and Australian Open before the August World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

“I have to play the next three tournaments – end of season- from there to Glasgow,” she said.

Although China have fallen behind a bit, Saina felt they still remained a powerhouse in the shuttle game.

“The Chinese are still a powerhouse, and you cannot ignore them. The older Chinese lot are a lot superior to the current lot,” she said.

On compatriot P V Sindhu’s phenomenal progress, Saina said, “Sindhu is also playing a lot of opponents, a lot of matches, lot of top players, so she’s competing with the best.

It shows her fighting spirit which has gone higher. That’s the reason she’s able to achieve so much.”

Sindhu won the women’s singles silver medal in the Rio Olympics.

Saina was also happy that the Badminton Association of India had recently cleared all pending dues of the players.

—PTI