Confident, Positive and on Track

Confident, Positive and on Track

A stress fracture on the left foot that kept Pusarla V. Sindhu away from the circuit for five months has “completely healed” and the 2019 world champion is now eager to attack the 2023 season.

Pusarla was sidelined after winning the Commonwealth Games women’s singles gold in Birmingham in August and made her comeback at the year’s first event – PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2023, where she lost a three-gamer in the opening round to traditional rival Carolina Marin.

Although another first round exit followed a week later at India Open, a fit-again Pusarla, who was “happy with my footwork, skills and strokes” on her return to competitive action in Kuala Lumpur, is optimistic it is only a matter of time before she starts playing her best badminton.

“I’m completely alright now,” said the 27-year-old of her fitness. “Physically and mentally I’m completely fine. Injuries happen but it’s important to keep your body healthy and come back stronger every time. I am confident, positive and learning from my mistakes.

“My parents were athletes too. The support and motivation they give me keep me going during low moments.”

Pusarla celebrating her Commonwealth gold with coach Park Tae Sang.

With three titles – Syed Modi India International, Swiss Open and Singapore Open – the 2022 season was Pusarla’s most successful on the HSBC BWF World Tour. Can this campaign be better?

“I hope it will be,” enthused the world No.9. “You also have to be 100 per cent but I’m completely recovered now. It takes time to get into that rhythm and play tournament matches. I’m on track.”

Along with Lakshya Sen and Prannoy H. S., Pusarla will spearhead her country’s challenge at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships starting Tuesday in Dubai.

India, who did not make the knockout stages at the previous edition in 2019 in Hong Kong China, have been drawn in Group B with hosts UAE, frontrunners Malaysia and Kazakhstan.