After a refreshing break since returning as the 2022 All England silver medallist, Lakshya and his racquet were back smashing the shuttle over the net at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy.
From the reigning world champion to the reigning Olympic champion, Lakshya tasted success at the expense of world badminton’s cream and made international podiums his home over the last three months.
Beginning with his India Open triumph mid-January to the back-to-back German Open and All England Championships on the European circuit, Lakshya gave his all and probably spent his energy reserves to produce the best badminton of his career so far.
The Swiss Open was scheduled on the heels of the All England championship, so Lakshya’s think-tank stepped in.
“Everyone around me, whoever is in the team, especially the physios and trainers and the coaches as well, everybody wants that I should remain injury-free,” said Lakshya talking to TimesofIndia.com while he rested at home.
“Also, the training (ahead), which they are planning, is based on that: trying to recover and then going again for tournaments. All these big events that you play back to back are tough on the body,” the 20 year old who has very quickly become the biggest talking point and rising star of Indian badminton further added.
Lakshya will now be seen on court at the Korea Open, for which he resumed training on Saturday. The Super 500 tournament will begin in Suncheon on April 5.
The World Championships bronze medallist gave some credit for his giant-killing run to becoming “independent”, as he has started travelling on the circuit on his own.
It has possibly made him more responsible, which reflects in his on-court decision-making as well.
“I can play a lot more tournaments on my own, like last year I went for a tournament in Europe. There was no coach or staff from the academy (PPBA),” Lakshya told TimesofIndia.com.
Continuing to explain that, he cited training with the reigning World Number one Viktor Axelsen in Dubai last September, for which the Dane had invited Lakshya.
“The training that I did with Viktor, there was no coach. We were training by ourselves. All the players there were making the programme and we were training together.” Lakshya further shared with TimesofIndia.com.
Lakshya shared the experience he had in Dubai with Vimal Kumar, his coach at the PPBA, when he returned home.
“When he came back and mentioned this to me, I told him ‘that’s how top players do it, professionals, that’s how they function,” Vimal had said in his response, when TimesofIndia.com talked about Lakshya’s Dubai visit during a recent conversation.
Incidentally and interestingly, Lakshya lost to Viktor Axelsen in the All England final, but that was after he had beaten the world No. 1 Dane in Germany in the week preceding the showpiece tournament in Birmingham.
But Lakshya has taken that in his stride, and before concluding the call with TimesofIndia.com, he once again stressed on the importance of staying fit.
“I just want to continue the form, try to play a lot more tournaments and get more experience. And remain injury-free,” he emphasised again.