Former world No 9 mixed doubles player Sapsiree Taerattanachai is relishing her return to action next week after an eight-month injury break.
The 25-year-old international, who sustained a left knee injury during the SEA Games women’s doubles final last August, will team up with old partner Dechapol Puavaranukroh in the mixed doubles and Puittita Supajirakul in women’s doubles in the E Plus Badminton Asian Championships in Malaysia.
The event is held to classify teams’ seedings for the Thomas and Uber Cups, which will be played in Thailand later this year.
“I’m completely recovered from the injury and I’ve already been back practising on court for a couple months,” said Sapsiree, who won the Swiss Open and the SEA Games in Malaysia with Dechapol.
“Everything is great except the footwork and the movements – I still have to work on those.”
Sapsiree, the only player in the world to win a singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles in at least the World Tour Super 250 level, said she was ready to move on after surviving the most difficult phase of her life, including surgery and rehabilitation
“Although I’m physically 100 per cent, I’m a bit concerned as it’s the worst injury I’ve ever had,” she said.
“I just need matches to regain my confidence as I have so many big events coming up this year.”
Nonetheless, Sapsiree has set her sights on reaching the top 5 in the world and performing well at the Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
Apart from winning the women’s doubles gold medal at last year’s SEA Games, Sapsiree was also part of the women’s team success there.
Her only singles win on tour came at the 2013 US , while her two women’s doubles trophies came from the Syed Modi International with Savitree Amitrapai in 2012 and in the Thailand Open in 2016 with Puttita.