Mumbai: After a disappointing 2013 in which she failed to win a single title, suffered injuries and saw her world ranking take a dip, star shuttler Saina Nehwal has decided to cut down on the number of tournaments next year to remain injury-free.
“If I look back now, I think I played a lot. Next year, I will make sure that I skip a few tournaments and focus on my fitness and perform my best in a tournament,” Saina told reporters at the prize distribution of the Usha All India Ladies and Junior Girls Amateur Golf Championship here on Monday.
The London Olympics bronze medallist, who is currently ranked No.8 after starting the year as the world No.3 in women’s singles, said it will take her at least a month to reach her peak fitness level.
“It will take time. I actually had put on a lot of weight also in between. So that really affected my movement. Now I am coming back to my good level. I am feeling quite fit,” said the 23-year-old Hyderabadi shuttler.
“It might take one more month to come back to the best of my fitness but I will make sure that I keep maintaining it during tournaments,” she said.
Saina said her performance in years when there were major events like the Olympics or Asian Games, had been good. That was an encouraging sign as in 2014 there were the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, followed by the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
“The years 2010 and 2012 were good. It is a good sign that years with big events like the Olympic Games, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games, were good. This year wasn’t that good.
“Next year, I will try by working on my fitness, playing less tournaments and focusing more on training. I think I missed that this year. I played too many tournaments. My fitness was down and I could feel that my stamina was low. In the long matches, my breathing was difficult which wasn’t right,” she added.
According to Saina, national coach Pullela Gopichand was also concerned about her slump in fitness and both were keen to see the mistakes were not repeated next year.