Gurusaidutt putting in the hard yards

A series of injuries might have derailed his plans but a fit-again RMV Gurusaidutt is putting in the hard yards to earn his place at the top and is aiming to regain his position in the world top-25 by the year end.

File picture of RMV Gurusaidutt.   -  PTI

A series of injuries might have derailed his plans but a fit-again RMV Gurusaidutt is putting in the hard yards to earn his place at the top and is aiming to regain his position in the world top-25 by the year end. “I’ve been injured on and off. I had a quadricep strain after the Vietnam open. And there has been a long-time issue with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis in my right foot. Each injury took at least two weeks,” said Gurusaidutt, who had achieved the highest career-ranking of World No. 19 in 2013.

“Though they were not major injuries, recovery took a bit of time. And because of the small niggles, I’m not able to continue my training. My back was also giving some problem. But now I feel better,” added the 25-year-old, who clinched a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year. Asked about his plans now, Guru said: “I am playing a challenger and a Grand Prix in Bulgaria and the Dutch Open. I have also entered for Bitburger and Bahrain.

“My first aim is to get into the top-30 before Hong Kong and the Macau Open. By year end, top 25 is achievable with the way I’m going. For now, it’s important to take one tournament at a time,” said the Hyderabad player.

Young shuttler B. Sai Praneeth too had fitness issues but now he is ready to put his best foot forward in the upcoming tournaments. “I am playing more challengers to just get some confidence back. It was actually last year when I had a shin injury. I was not off circuit but was playing on and off. But now I am fit,” said Praneeth, who won the Lagos International and the Sri Lanka International Challenge, besides reaching the semifinals of the US Open this year. “I just want to get some results. I will be playing the Dutch Open, French and Bitburger Open. So the next month is going to be hectic. Now I am playing good,” added the 23-year-old, who is remembered for stunning former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat in his farewell match. Asked about his targets, Praneeth said: “I have kept many targets but I just want some good results.” With the Indian Badminton League (IBL) finally set to roll out in January next year, Praneeth is excited to be a part of the event. “IBL makes the game more famous. It is fun, not pressure. In January there are no tournaments so players will also come. So it’s good for badminton and players,” he said.