Injury decisive for Joshna in top 10 breakthrough

Published: 02nd July 2016 07:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2016 07:48 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: “IT was one of my goals since the beginning. But there’s still a long way to go.” This is what Joshna Chinappa told Express when asked about breaking into the top 10 in the latest PSA world rankings. This outlook has seen the squash star return from a career-threatening ACL injury to achieve considerable success.

“I’m happy to have broken into the top 10. It’s hasn’t been an easy journey,” added the World No 10, after achieving her career-best ranking.

Injury game.jpgJoshna is the second Indian woman to breach this mark, after Dipika Pallikal in 2011. She says the injury in 2012 was the starting point of her journey towards success. “For me, everything started post my injury. The comeback was pretty hard, and working from scratch on my fitness and game wasn’t easy. I’ve a good team, who have helped me get where I am today. I really wanted to play for India, and win medals for the country. This was a huge driving force to get higher up the rankings. I cannot attribute one particular factor. It’s more a combination of all these,” the 29-year-old noted.

As the adage goes, getting to the top is easy, but staying there is tougher. Joshna just wants to focus on the aspects that helped her reach this position. “It’s about focusing on what I’ve been doing to get to where I have, and just continue doing that. Continue working on my game, on physical and mental fitness.”

The Chennai girl was on a break during the first week of June, at a children’s camp in Indore. And Joshna enjoyed the work she did there. “I took a working break to go to Indore and teach kids aged between 8 and 16 the sport, which was a nice experience. It was more a time off, and I didn’t practise much,” she said.

Her next event will be the senior nationals, followed by the Hong Kong Open, and then the World Doubles. Joshna isn’t feeling the pressures of being a top 10 player. “Not really. And nor am I thinking of rankings. The focus is to just play as much as possible, and I’m looking forward to events coming up,” concluded Joshna.

 ravi.iyer@newindianexpress.com

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