Saina NehwaI: I fear getting injured again

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Saina NehwaI: I fear getting injured again

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SportsCafe Desk

03/27/2017

Saina Nehwal has said that she still fears getting injured after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury just before the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 27-year-old also voiced her excitement of returning to play in Delhi - the venue where she won the commonwealth medal and 2015 India Open.

Following the knee injury, Nehwal underwent surgery after the Olympics but failed to deliver the success that is expected of her. However, the London Olympic bronze-medallist started the year off in style by winning the Malaysia Masters in January. Even though it has been a while since the surgery, Nehwal said that she still experienced some pain while playing on hard surfaces.

"I never knew what surgery was but after I went through it I realized how tough returning from it can be. You lose movements, touch and again to get back to your full fitness is extremely tough," Saina told PTI.

"It takes more time than usual, you can't straightaway recover and win. It is not only physical but mental too. Even now there is always this tension and fear that what if I again get injured."

Nehwal also made a return to the major tournaments this year at the All-England Championships and appeared to be in good touch before she was ousted by Sung Ji-Hyun in a closely contested game.

"Even in All England that match I lost, it was 50-50, it could have gone anywhere. So I know I will be back to my best form with time," Nehwal recalled.

"The world No. 8 Indian will be one of the favourites at the Indian Super Series, an event she won two years back to achieve the world No. 1 ranking."

Nehwal's next challenge lies at the India Open - a tournament she won in 2015. Indian fans can also look forward to seeing her compete with PV Sindhu for the first time in a Superseries event. The duo are likely to meet in the quarter-finals of the event.

"Delhi has always been special to me. I won the Commonwealth Games gold here and then won the Indian Open in 2015 and became the world No. 1. So everything has been special for me. It is great to play in front of home crowd," Nehwal added.

"Of course the competition has become tougher and tougher at India Open. So all I can say is I will give my best and hope to do well.

"Good thing is there is no expectation. When I stared there was less expectation and now also there is less pressure, which is good."

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