Archive for June, 2018

Tour Diaries with Christopher Pedra

Friday, June 29th, 2018
Day 4 – Round 2 vs Akane Yamaguchi

We found out late last night that Saina would be first out on court 1. Fortunately everyone had a decent sleep as we only had to be on the 11am bus. After a good breakfast we were on the bus to the stadium, which fortunately didn’t get lost this time.

The normal routine went well and all in all there was no sign that things wouldn’t go Saina’s way today. Unfortunately, the beauty of sport is the unpredictable nature of physical competition. Today we were on the wrong side of that competition as things just didn’t seems to land for Saina. All the narrow calls and shuttles on the line went to the Japanese no. 2 ranked player.

Every loss is very disappointing, but as I said, that is sport. No-one can win everything. All you can do is move forward. So tomorrow we start again in preparation for Jakarta next week. Wipe the slate clean and focus on the next game.

I’ll hopefully be writing with more success next week.

Until then…

Tour Diaries With Christopher Pedra

Thursday, June 28th, 2018
Day 3 – Rest day before Round 2

We had a pretty relaxed day today preparing for tomorrow. We’re up against the no. 2 ranked Akane Yamaguchi some time after 1PM. As the draw only comes out once the last game has been played today, we have to prepare to be heading out early, just in case.

Saina had a bit of a hit around lunch time and a small prehab session before some ongoing treatment in the evening. Early to bed and hopefully a good night sleep, should have us in good shape for tomorrow. All in all she’s feeling strong and positive, let’s hope that comes out on the court.

Overall the Indian contingent had a mixed day on court, with Sindu and Shrikanth coming out on top in their respective first round encounters. Unfortunately Sai Praneeth and the young doubles pair of Satwik and Chirag didn’t get through their games.

Until tomorrow…

Tour Diaries With Christopher Pedra

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018
Day 2 – Round 1 vs YIP Pui Yin (Hong Kong)

We had an early start today for a small breakfast before a morning gym session – nice and light, getting moving, and getting in the zone for the first game at 2pm. The bus (despite having a police escort) got lost on the way to the stadium, so having left the hotel at 12.30 we took nearly an hour to travel what should have been 25 minutes. Not ideal preparation but these things happen.

At the courts I don’t really get too involved – Saina has been on tour since she was 12 (with pretty good success!), so she knows how her body should feel before she gets on court for a hit. Where I do offer advice is when there may be something small we’re working on, either strength wise, activation or injury prevention. So I may suggest a small tweak or addition to her usual routine. I’m there to lend a hand if she needs anything but really it’s her and the coach at this time.

Once on court it’s obviously just Saina. And that’s how it should be. Obviously the changeovers and breaks allow for a bit of discussion with the coaches; there may be something that they have picked up in the oppositions tactics or movement etc. that they will relay to Saina and discuss one or two of her tactical approaches. The overriding goal of all preparation for games though, is so that when. The athlete crosses the white line, they just need to think about the scoreboard. Hopefully we’ve done enough prep in the gym, on the court and everywhere else, that Saina just needs to worry about what she does best.

And so it was today, with a pretty convincing display against her opponent from Hong Kong. There were a few issues that couldn’t be helped, specifically the drift in the hall, making judgement of certain shot quite tricky, but Saina settled early and had the momentum throughout.

After a quick stretch and cool down we headed back to the hotel for an early dinner, treatment and rest. Tomorrow is off while the other half of the draw get their respective first round games in, before the second round for everyone on Thursday.