Newly-crowned national champion Sameer Verma is eyeing a consistent run in the international badminton circuit by remaining free of injuries, which hampered his growth early on.
A series of injuries affected his career but the 21-year-old from Madhya Pradesh is happy with his performance after regaining his full fitness.
“In 2012, I got injured too many times. I had a back injury, I started playing and again I hurt my back in 2013. I worked on my strength and was fit again. But I had an Appendicitis in 2014,” Sameer said.
“I have been playing injury free since October, 2014 and I am happy with my game. I won at Tata open last year. I won at Bahrain. I reached the prequarterfinals at All England. I beat World no. 11 and now I became the national champion. So, such performances really have boosted my confidence.
“Initially I wanted to play in Malaysia but then I spoke to Gopi sir and he advised me to play at the Nationals and I am happy I could win the title this year. It was satisfying,” said Sameer, who defeated his elder brother and 2012 champion Sourabh Verma 21-16 21-16 in the finals on Sunday in Chandigarh.
Sameer, who reached the finals of 2015 Senior National Championship, notched up some good victories in the last year, defeating the likes of Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen, China’s Wang Zhengming, Japan’s Sho Sasaki and Hong Kong’s Hu Yun.
He also achieved a world ranking of 35 after being 262nd spot at the start of 2015.
A trainee at the Gopichand Academy since 2010, Sameer, who is currently ranked 38th, said: “I had some good performances after recovering from injury and I just hope I can stay injury free so that I can train hard and improve my game.
“Injuries are part and parcel of a player’s life but it hampers one’s game as it takes a lot of time in rehab and then to reach the peak of your game to make a comeback.
“I will go home now and my next tournaments will be in May. I will play more Grand Prix and Grand Prix Golds and also look to play the qualifying rounds of Super Series tournaments. The focus will be to perform, ranking will then take care of itself,” said the soft-spoken shuttler.
Sameer and his elder brother Sourabh hail from Dhar township which is near Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
Their father, who works in the Narmada Valley Development Authority, inspired them to take up the sport.