first_imgAnand’s Pawar’s victory at the Scotland Open in Glasgow on Sunday was a testimony to his hard work and dedication.A slipped disc had forced him to sit out of the Badminton World Federation ( BWF) circuit for more than six months. What was even more impressive was that he did not drop a single game during the championship.His 21- 9, 21- 10 win over Ville Lang of Finland in the final meant that the 24- year- old Mumbaikar has won his first major title in more than a year.Anand said the win has come as a big boost.” It has come at the right time. Of late, my confidence was a bit low due to the fact that I could not do very well at the international level,” he told Mail Today. ” It was great winning last night. I have made it to the semi- finals of this tournament in 2007 where I lost to Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph. I didn’t expect to win so easily as Ville Lang is a quality player. I think my success was due to my consistency at net. What made me happier was that I won the tournament without dropping a game,” he said.Anand, who has trained under Danish great Morten Frost Hansen, said that he had suffered the slipped disc immediately after the Denmark Super Series in October last year. “I was training in the Aarhius Club (which is supervised by Morton) and fell awkwardly. At first I did not realise the damage, but an MRI scan revealed the slipped disc. I was extremely disappointed when I was told that I had to miss the circuit for at least six months,” he said.advertisementAnand, who was ranked 35 in the world then, had to relaunch his career from scratch. “Those initial months were very painful. It was the most testing period of my career as I had to start from the basics. Even a simple thing as reaching for a forehand shot was very painful,” he said.The fact that he could not play at the BWF circuit for nearly six months meant that his ranking dropped rapidly.From world No. 35 in October 2009, he slipped to No. 83 at the beginning of the year.” I could not hold a racquet at all during this time,” he said.On his return to the international circuit, disappointments were in store for him.He lost in the opening rounds of his first four tournaments.But slowly, things started to fall in place. It all started with a quarter- final showing at the Belgium Open in September.’ I reached the quarter- finals in Belgium before losing to the top seed Marc Zwiblier ( Germany).What made me happy was that I could at last manage to make it to that stage of a BWF event,” said Anand.He went one better at his next tournament – the Dutch Open – where he made it to the semi- finals, and he feels his triumph at the Scotland Open would do a world of good to his confidence.” I’m glad that I could go all the way this time and win the tournament. It’s important for me to keep training hard now and maintain the good form till the next tournament and I hope things can move forward from here.” Anand, who is currently employed with Air India, said he was grateful to the company for their support.” They ( Air India) have been very good to me. But then the fact remains that I do not have any other sponsor. I will have to sort out this problem ( sponsorship) sooner rather than later,” he said.last_img

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