Saina Nehwal's outing at the PBL yesterday ended up being mixed bag - her team Awadhe Warriors ended up winning, but she lost to Hyderabad's Carolina Marin in straight sets. The ex-World No.1, however, is happy about the match practice from the league as he sets her sights on a comeback to the top.
"I gave her a tough fight. I could have won the first game. The Gachibowli stadium (venue of the match) is fast. I could not control the shuttle. She (Marin) already played here (the previous day). She was used to the conditions," said Nehwal, who was playing in her hometown of Hyderabad.
Nehwal, who is ranked 10th in the world right now, is looking to get back to the competitive circuit after having been plagued by career-threatening injuries for a major part of last year.
Nehwal sustained an intra-articular injury in her right knee and crashed out in the group stage of the Rio Olympics. After undergoing a surgery, she made a comeback at the 2016 China Open but struggled to have any impact as she was knocked out in the very first game. However, she recently said that the injury layoff had been a blessing in disguise as she was able to work on the weaker areas of her game.
Saina has implied that she is getting "good match practice" at the Premier Badminton League which would help her in getting ready for the circuit. Nehwal has struggled to find her rhythm since sustaining an injury in her right knee after the Rio Olympics.
"I am happy with my improvement. My movements are still sluggish. I still need good match practice," she said after losing to Carolina Marin in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) reported TOI.
If all goes well, the Indian could well be in action at the Malaysia Open that kicks off at the end of this month.