When the state government allowed the reopening of sports arenas for international and national-level athletes in late July, the local lad’s eyes lit up instantaneously. And, with the Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association (TNSRA) unlocking ISA’s door for practice, 22-year-old Velavan is elated to be back to where he belongs.
“The break was a good one, but I was kind of restless (to start playing). I have been training since Monday. It feels really nice to return to the court after a hiatus. However, I still miss the competitiveness and other aspects of (the PSA) tournaments,” Velavan told DT Next.
“The Tour is currently suspended (because of the coronavirus pandemic) and I have no clarity on when and where my next event will be. In this period, I would like to improve my court fitness and be the best I can. I also aspire to take my game to the next level,” added Velavan, who is ranked 171 in the world.
After clinching the Boys’ Under-19 title at the British Junior Open in 2017, the Salemborn player endured a rough patch in the senior circuit. He was keen on turning the tide this calendar year but unfortunately, the deadly virus has stood in his way.
“I went to Barcelona, Spain, in January to recover from an injury. I prepared well for three tournaments that were initially lined up in India. I trained at the Barcelona Global Squash (BGS) Academy for three months. But because of unfortunate circumstances, I had to cut short my stay and come home in March,” revealed Velavan.
Although things have not gone as per plan, the youngster has a schedule in place, which he has been following thoroughly during the ongoing lockdown. “In terms of fitness, I don’t have to start from scratch. However, performing exercises at home and playing on court are completely different. I am slowly getting my groove back,” explained Velavan, a student of the Columbia University in New York, the United States of America (USA).
With the Chennai-based stepping up the gear in recent times, the prize – which he has been long waiting for – could just be around the corner.