KUALA LUMPUR: Women’s doubles shuttler Woon Khe Wei is banking on the German touch to do wonders for her in the back-to-back German Open Grand Prix Gold and All-England tournaments.
Khe Wei, who came out of an ankle injury last year, has been depending on the faithful service of National Sports Institute (NSI) physiotherapist Sandra Fiedler from Germany to maintain her condition ahead of the two big events in Europe.
The 23-year-old Khe Wei will be partnering Vivian Hoo in the German Open Grand Prix Gold starting on Wednesday and the All-England in Birmingham from March 4-9.
It has been exactly a year since Khe Wei has been free of any serious injuries.
In fact, she has been riding high with Vivian since reaching the quarter-finals of last year’s All-England, which was her first tournament in five months. Prior to that, she had taken a long break to recover from a nagging ankle injury.
Since the All-England breakthrough, though, Khe Wei and Vivian have done well to make the top eight of the Swiss, Australian and Malaysian Open GP Gold; the semi-finals of the India Open Grand Prix Gold; and finally ending the season with a gold medal at the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
“I am really grateful to Sandra,” said Khe Wei.
“I went through rehabilitation under her watchful eye when I was recovering from my injury and now, she is still there keeping an eye on me.
“She is basically helping me maintain my condition. It is like giving service for ‘wear and tear’ after a hard day’s training,” she said, bursting out laughing.
Besides Sandra, NSI also relies on physiotherapist Fadzil Mohd Salleh, whose main charge is world No. 1 singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei.
“Their help is really comforting. It is important to monitor our physical condition so that we do not get injured easily.”
Now that Khe Wei is much better physically, she hopes to raise her game this year.
“It has been some time since Vivian and I won a GP Gold title and we hope to end that wait this year. It will also be great to start beating some top players this year,” added Khe Wei.
World No. 16 Khe Wei-Vivian, who last won a GP Gold title at the 2011 Indonesia Open, have been drawn in the same quarter as top seeds Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi of Japan.
In the All-England, the duo may meet the same Japanese pair in the second round. Khe Wei-Vivian have played against the world No. 4 Misaki-Ayaka three times before at the 2012 Swiss Open, 2012 Australian Open GP Gold and 2012 French Open. They lost all three matches in straight games.