Saina, at the moment ranked twentieth on the planet, was knocked out of the primary spherical of the continued second Thailand Open. She had earlier fallen within the second spherical of the primary Thailand Open, which was additionally her first event because the All England Championships in March 2020.
Kumar stated that Saina appeared “off form” in Thailand. “It isn’t going to be straightforward for her to bounce again. I’ve all the time stated that if she has no ache, she is going to play nicely. Greater than the ache although she did not look very match to me. Possibly after the Covid challenge and all she remains to be recovering from it,” Kumar instructed IANS.
A two-time nationwide champion, Kumar felt Saina goes by way of the hardest section of her profession.
“I feel so. Issues haven’t been going nicely for her for the previous couple of years. She wants confidence to get going and the final she had a great end result was in 2019 on the Indonesia Masters,” stated the person who gained the nationwide title in 1988 and 1989.
“The exercises, physical training and different issues need to be actually particular. She has to plan all this quite a bit higher and that’s the solely method she will be able to come out of this. Shedding extra matches like this may have an effect on her confidence. It isn’t solely simply bodily, there are quite a lot of psychological features [at play] as nicely. She is a robust woman however these outcomes can have an effect on her,” he stated.
Saina had labored with Kumar in her childhood and later between 2014 and 2017 when she turned the primary Indian badminton participant to realize a No.1 rating and gained silver on the badminton World Championships.
The Hyderabad-based Saina’s finest finishes in 2020 got here when she reached the quarter-finals within the Malaysia Masters in January and the Barcelona Masters in February. The final time she gained a title was the 2019 Indonesia Masters held in January.
Saina is at the moment fifteenth within the rankings for the Tokyo Olympics. With Sindhu already ranked seventh, Saina wants to interrupt into the highest eight to qualify for the Video games. The tournaments in Thailand will not be a part of the Olympic qualifying interval, which is scheduled to begin with the Swiss Open on March 2.
“The subsequent one or one-and-a-half months will decide her probabilities. The subsequent five-six weeks might be key and provides us an concept,” stated Kumar.
Kumar, nevertheless, additionally stated that the very fact stays that whereas Saina and many of the Indian gamers are taking part in their first tournaments since March, when the nationwide lockdown started, lots of their opponents have had prior match observe with home championships being held in lots of international locations.
“They’re all awfully in need of match observe. All of them are taking part in after greater than 10 months which isn’t good. [PV] Sindhu additionally wants extra matches; it is the one method she will be able to get again. We’ve got to see how issues go in March when issues open up,” stated Kumar.