MUMBAI: Saina Nehwal will need more time to return to her best, but will gain in confidence from her tough win on Thursday at the Macau Open, said her coach Vimal Kumar.
“She has recovered quite well but she still needs to get fit and that is the main thing. Fitness and strength has to come, basically her lung power and leg strength, but otherwise she is okay and her leg is doing good,” said Vimal, on the sidelines of the Tata Open badminton tournament at the Cricket Club of India here.
Saina edged past her Indonesian opponent, Dinar Dyah Ayustine, 17-21, 21-18, 21-12 after an hour-long battle, to enter the third round of the women’s singles event.
“This (game against Dinar) was a good match that will give her confidence and also match practice, otherwise her next competition is only in next year January,” said her coach.
Saina is making a comeback after suffering a serious knee injury at Rio Olympics. The coach admitted she had some way to go before she could aspire to win big tournaments again and they are taking it one match at a time. Vimal hoped that with four to six weeks of high intensity training Saina should be back to top level.
Winning the tournament at Macau is not the aim, clarified Vimal. “Let her play and take one match at a time and just get back (to pre-Rio condition). Because this (Macau open) is a lower rung tournament and she is only playing so that she gets more matches under her belt.
“I have given all power to the trainer. Their session comes first. There’s enough time. She can do good training and come back.”
So my dear professional badminton player after knee surgery how much time it takes to b the best in the world. I hope not in one month right
-Saina Nehwal’s tweet in response to a fan’s criticism.