For all the challenges that Saina Nehwal has managed to brave on a badminton court, returning from a bout of mild chicken pox with a world championship only a week away is an altogether different proposition.
As Nehwal returned to practice on Monday at coach P Gopichand’s academy after having given the irritation a week to subside, she spoke of the mental fortitude that sets her apart. “I know sportspersons who, in a similar situation, would have given up, lost hope. But I’m mentally very strong and was always prepared to go back on court and give my best. I never gave not playing a thought,” she said after training for an hour on Monday and sounding unperturbed about the lost time.
“It felt good to come back, in fact I really enjoyed it out there. It’ll take two-three days to get my rhythm back, but I’m feeling alright now, and there’s no problem. Today I didn’t feel exhausted,” she said.