India Open 2022: Saina Nehwal lists down reasons for her 'shock' loss to Malvika Bansod

Saina Nehwal made an early exit from India Open 2022 on Thursday (January 13), losing to 20-year-old upcoming star Malvika Bansod in straight games in the second-round match that last for only 34 minutes. 

India Open 2022: Saina Nehwal lists down reasons for her 'shock' loss to Malvika Bansod

Saina Nehwal made an early exit from Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022 on Thursday (January 13), losing to 20-year-old upcoming star Malvika Bansod in straight games in the second-round match that last for only 34 minutes. 

It was a game that Malvika dominated throughout as Saina struggled against superb shot-making from the youngster and her own body. 

The Olympic medallist has had huge dominance in Indian badminton circuit, having not lost to any Indian since 2017 in an international tournament. In fact, Mavika became only the fourth Indian shuttler to beat Saina after Aparna Popat, Trupti Murgunde and PV Sindhu. 

Saina came into this tournament after not having played any badminton in last three months due to various injuries she was carrying. It was only at the start of January that she started training for India Open. For some time now, the knee and groin injury has kept her out of tournaments.

"As you know that cartilege tear and groin tear was there from October 25th till late December and the problem with the knee was I could only see the days go by because as I could not push myself playing as patella is an important part of the knee and it could only improve with the lead I am putting so that I could put only from January 2nd and 3rd. So whatever six or seven days I got before this tournament, I tried to some court movements," she said post the loss. 

The star shuttler added that a major reason for her defeat was lack of physical movements which Malvika used to her advantage. She said that her body is reacting well and this is something she wanted to test in this tournament. But now she needs to improve the fitness levels.  

"I could not do so much of my physical fitness but I am happy that the body could play these two matches. I did not have to give up anywhere because of my groin or my knee. I could play those shots. Today Malvika was playing lot of close drops and good tosses.

When I played 2-3 matches in October, I could not move to tackle those shots. But today I could move on the court. But the problems is that fitness is not there so you cannot give fight to these players. Mavika is very good. Akarshi is good, sindhu is good. I came to see where I stand . Body is good but fitness levels have to improve," said Saina.

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