Anand Pawar finishes runner-up at Dutch International badminton tournament

The giant-killing run of Anand Pawar in the Dutch International badminton tournament was halted in the final, not by the opponent but by the unfortunate injury.

A severe pain in the abdomen forced unseeded Pawar to give walkover to fifth seed Andre Kurniawan Tedjono of Indonesia in the title clash in Netherlands on Sunday.

After performing so well to reach the final, it was a sort of anti-climax for the Mumbai shuttler. On way to the summit clash, Pawar, world No. 63, had upset three seeded players including the top seed and local hero Eric Pang in the quarterfinals.

“I woke up with some pain in my abdomen muscle which I also felt yesterday (Saturday) after the match (semifinal) but didn’t think it was anything serious. I got it checked by the physio, who said it might be a slight tear which could be aggravated if I play and become a big tear. I would have to take 5-6 weeks off if that happened so he advised me not to play today.”

The in-form shuttler, who had claimed the French International title last Sunday, was tempted to play the final but dropped the idea after physio’s advice.

“It was a big risk (playing the final). I had the chance to win two titles in as many weeks but considering the fact that I have to play India Open in another eight days’ time, it was not worth taking risk. Obviously, I didn’t want to be out of the circuit for two months particularly when I am in good form,” reasoned Pawar.

The 25-year-old is optimistic about his chances of playing in the India Open Super Series which will be held in New Delhi from April 24-29.

“Yes, I think so. Atleast I hope so. I’m leaving from here on Monday so will know more about the injury when I’m back home in India. I think I will be ready by then. Since, I haven’t let it get bad today I can be ready for next week. I’m disappointed but satisfied with my effort. It’s good to get to the finals,” added an Air India employee.

It has been a very fruitful last couple of months for Pawar. After making the Finnish Open semifinals last month, Pawar followed it with a title in France which came after a gap of nearly two years. He made his form count by storming into the final in Netherlands.

“I want to do well in India Open Super Series and Malaysia Grand Prix Gold. I am hoping to break into the top-40 in next few months,” said Pawar, son of former badminton great Uday Pawar.

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