Aditi makes winning start in Badminton Asia Championships


NEW DELHI: Aditi Mutatkar is no stranger to injuries and comebacks. The young Pune girl was all smiles on Wednesday after her thrilling opening round triumph over Singapore’s Fu Mingtian in the Badminton Asia Championships and feels the win has given her the much needed confidence after a two a month injury absence.

Once touted as the most talented among Indian women players, Aditi’s career has been strewn with injuries, which has time and again marred her potential stride to the top.

She showed signs of revival in December when she reached the final of Syed Modi International Grand Prix but soon found herself out of action with a dodgy right knee.

"It is a good win for me. I desperately wanted to win. The way I rallied back in the match has given me a lot of confidence. It is a good way to start after a two-month break," an excited Mutatkar said after her 21-11, 17-21, 21-18 win at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

"I have an experience of comebacks. So I knew how to approach the match. During my last injury break, I realised that my approach to the game is the same, I am dedicated towards the game, I needed to pay attention to minor things," she said.

"So, whether it was icing my knee three to four times a day or me wearing a long knee cap today, this time I have taken care of everything. I have become more professional in my approach. At the end, everything depends on how strong you are mentally."

The 23-year-old said she is taking one match at a time.

"I am taking a match at a time. I am not thinking about the tournament
. Today, I just wanted to go out there and play as I needed to win badly. I was trailing in the last game but I rallied to make it 13-13 and that turned things for me. The way I pulled off the last game is a big high for me," said Mutatkar.

"My opponent (Mingtian) was also a tough one. This is my first win against her. We had a couple of close games before. I was determined to see that it should not become another case of hard luck. There were long rallies and I am happy that I kept up with her."

An avid reader, who loves to pen her thoughts, Mutatkar had no issues with the facilities at the Siri Fort complex though she felt they could do better with more crowd presence.

"Crowd could be more. Though there were some last minute delays, but at the end they have managed it well. The drift was a bit uneven. But it is the same for both the players. Usually, all the Asian tournaments have such a problem in the beginning. It is just a matter of adjusting."


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