World championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen on Saturday said the first few matches at the Commonwealth Games would be crucial to find his rhythm back after being out of action for a month due to fitness issues.
Sen, a member of India’s Thomas Cup winning team, did not play any tournament after the Indonesia Open, where he lost to compatriot H. S. Prannoy in the second-round clash.
Sen had some shoulder issues and underwent rehab for about two weeks to recover.
Asked how he assesses his current form, the world number 10 said, “It’s pretty good. I have not played a tournament in a month. So I think the first few matches will be really important for me to get my rhythm back.
“But I am looking forward; the training which I have put in for the last three weeks will help me,” Sen told reporters here at the Cricket Club of India.
The Almora-born shuttler also brushed aside apprehensions that the month-long break would affect his form.
“I think one month is not a long time to go out of form, if it was a two-three months gap, it would have been more difficult, but I feel again, the first few matches will be crucial and how I play. I feel I won’t find that hard to (get back to the rhythm),” he insisted.
Sen said Malaysia would prove to be a tough opponent for India at the upcoming Birmingham Games.
He also said that it was natural to feel pressure in big events like the CWG.
“It is natural to feel pressure in big tournaments like the Commonwealth Games and World Championships,” he said.
Star doubles player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who had withdrawn from Malaysia Open after pulling his muscle, said he is 95 percent better now and would start training next week.
“Injury wise I am okay and fitness wise there were no issues,” he maintained.
Satwik and his doubles partner Chirag Shetty won a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Chirag said this time around they want to put up a better show.
“In 2018, we were still a young pair; we were quite new to the world stage, playing top-ranked tournaments,” said Chirag, who hails from Mumbai.
“Now we are a more experienced pair, where we have top-level badminton, where we have been in the top 10 for three years now. The scenario is a lot different from (what) it was in 2018.
“This time we want to better ourselves than we did last time and hopefully we will be able to do that.” Chirag also said their goal is to win the big events.
“That is definitely our target, to win at the World Championships, The All England.”