Finding their way back after a string of injuries left them on the sidelines, RMV Gurusaidutt and young Sameer Verma received a big confidence-boost following their stunning victories in the opening round of the India Super Series here.
While Guru was plagued by a spate of injuries mainly after his Commonwealth Games bronze medal feat in Glasgow, Sameer literally spent almost two years watching his compatriots breaking new grounds after hurting his back and then suffering from Appendicitis.
However, the duo battled through the tough times and is hoping to make a mark on the international circuit. World no. 60 Guru eked out a hard-fought 21-14 17-21 23-21 win over Korea’s Lee Dong Keun, ranked 31, Sameer, who has slipped past 200 in ranking, sent packing world no. 9 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-15 21-17.
“The last year has been tough for me. Probably six weeks of break then two weeks of training then one tournament and then once again I am injured. This win should take me forward,” Guru said.
“Last year I picked up an Achilles injury in the Japan Open when I was playing against Takuma Ueda. After that there was a knee injury before the Commonwealth. Then there was a back injury before the Denmark and France Opens and then during the Syed Modi, I hurt my neck.
“So Polish Open was the comeback. I just took that tournament to start off. The conditions were completely different and it didn’t suit me. But I like the conditions here because I have always had good matches here in the Thomas and Uber Cup, India Open. I like to play on these courts,” he added.
For 20-year-old Sameer, on the other hand, it was a long wait to play proper badminton as he took a long time to recover from the back injury which he suffered in 2012.
“In 2012, I had injured my back but I could not really recover after that. I was going to physiotherapy. Last July, I had Appendicitis so I was out of the scene. I started training again in August. So I lost a lot of time since 2012, I could not really play. Now I am completely fit,” said the soft-spoken Sameer.
After recovering from appendicitis, Sameer played the Tata Open and Syed Modi GPG in December and January but was knocked out in the second round. He then played at the inter-State, inter-zonal team championship and helped Air India win the tournament.
He also reached the finals of the 79th Senior National championship in February.
Talking about his match against Hans-Kristian, Sameer said, “I was confident of playing well. In 2011 Syed Modi, I had beaten him in three games in pre-quarters. So I was confident to beat him. I was under pressure in the starting thinking how I will play. After I started playing it became comfortable.”