Let me start from where I had stopped earlier. I was in Korea for the Super series event. First round I played Chetan Anand from India. I won in 2 games. Was quite easy. 21-12, 21-11.Next I was playing Premislav Wacha from Poland. I had beaten him earlier in another SS event. But I could not repeat the same as I felt my fitness was not up to the mark. All the marriage running around took its toll I guess.
After Korea we came straight to Pune for our Petroleum Inter Unit Tournament. Here as all might be aware, all the Top National Badminton players come. This tournament is normally taken very seriously as the prestige of the company is on the line.
In Team championships our team BPCL lost to ONGC. leading from the front was Chetan Anand. We lost mainly because our doubles was not strong.
In the individuals most of the Top players played and I won there.I beat the young Guru sai Dutt in 2 games in the finals.
After this I headed back to Bangalore to prepare for the National Champoionships. The NAtionals was held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh this time. My preparation was quite good and it turned out to be a perfect tournament. Our Petroleum team won the team championships and I won the single event in the individuals. I won all matches in 2 straight games. My quarters was probably the toughest. It was against Sachin Ratti and I felt he was in top form.
In fact it was a long wait for me to win the NAtional Championships as I had once even served Championship point in 2002 NAtional Championships final against Abhinn Shaym Gupta. When I lost that Championship I had felt that, ah... next year surely I 'll win. But dint happen.
every year I would head to the Nationals thinking I would win. Always coming back heart broken. I reached the finals again in 2004. Lost to Chetan Anand( who claimed his first title there, HE went on win 3 NAtional titles in the subsequent years).
Next year in 2005 I was the Top seed in Jamshedpur. Lost in the quarter finals to Thomas Kurien, who surprised me with his percentage game there.
In 2006 again finals. This was at Bangalore and two locals boys were competing. Anup was my opponent there, but could not get the measure of him. I was really heartbroken there because majority of the crowd probably wanted me to win and I felt I let them down.
In 2007 I was injured and was not even sure of a comeback in Badminton.
In 2008, I was in the finals again surprising many people as it was my comeback year. here I lost to Chetan Anand when I was in a winning position in the second game after losing the first. After this loss, I starting doubting whether I would win at all. But I told myself that Nationals is not everything and starting looking to concentrate on bigger tournaments win in International Arena.
Finally 2009 was the year. So frankly I dont know what I did different other than getting married. So I guess thats it!! Lady Luck helped me probably. Pallavi is definitely Lucky and her prayers works like magic.
But frankly, my family have been a great support. Dad and Mom would always say positive things even after losing so many finals. Avinash my brother who is the US has always motivated me with the right words everytime. Anu my sister would always do her bit to get me out of the dumps. And of course Pallavi and her parents.
I defintely cant forget or rather I have no words to explain the tireless work done by Prakash Sir, Vimal Sir, Vinod Kumar and my trainer in Academy Vinod.
Thanks to all including my BPCL boss Mr. Padmakar who would always trust me and had full faith in my abilities.
And finally a big Thanks to all my Academy mates and support staff at the academy and Karnataka Badminton players and office bearers.
So thats about it regarding NAtionals.
Right now I am in europe playing at the German Open. Next up will be All england and Swiss Super Series. Hope to continue the good work.