Anup Sridhar took a two month break to work on his fitness after the India Open since he felt that he was not 100 per cent on the court. The break has turned out to be a master stroke so far with the world number 39 registering one of his biggest win on the internationals stage on Thursday.
The Bharat Petroleum employee upset world number 2 Peter Gade of Denmark 21-19 16-21, 21-13 to enter the quarterfinals of the Singapore Super series. He will now face world number 19 Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand for a place in the last four.
In the women's singles Saina Nehwal advanced to the quarters after beating Indonesia's Adrianti Firdasari 21-18 17-21 21-17. She will lock horns with third seed Ling Wang of China.
But the day belonged to Anup, who came through the qualifying round in this tournament, and made the most of those two extra matches under his belt to upset his more illustrious opponent.
"It's a little windy here and they are also using new shuttles (Kason). But I was comfortable with the conditions and that helped a lot," he said over phone from Singapore.
The win is significant in the light of the fact that the shuttler had been nursing a heel and ankle injury for the past 20 months and that has affected his performance in the Beijing Olympics as well as the India Open.
Vimal Kumar, Anup's coach at the Prakash Padukone Academy, was elated with the win, "I am happy with the win. The win will motivate him to the core. "After his defeat at the India Open, he got a rebuke from me which he took rather seriously and focussed to regain the form.
“He was down in the dumps, but when he started working with his conditioner, things were going good for him," said the coach. Anup also credited the comeback to his improved fitness. "Now I don't have to think whether I can last the match and I am taking that confidence into the match."