Saina Nehwal's comeback may have ended with a gruelling opening round loss at the China Super Series Premier in Fuzhou but the London Olympics bronze medallist said she was satisfied with the way she played.
Three months after limping out of the Rio Olympics due to a severe knee injury, Saina was back on the court but her fight against Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk ended with a 16-21, 21-19, 14-21 loss in a women's singles match that lasted almost an hour.
"This was my first tournament since Rio Olympics and it felt really good to be back. I was playing after a gap of two and half months after the surgery. Even though I lost early I am quite satisfied with the way I played and gave a tough fight playing against a top player," said Saina.
Saina, who had won the China Open title in 2014 and reached the finals last year, will play at the Hong Kong Super Series next week.
"I am feeling good about my fitness level and it will only get better for me from here. I am quite confident of getting back to my best soon and really look forward to play the Premier Badminton League for my team, Awadhe Warriors," she said.
Premier Badminton League is scheduled to be held from January 1 next year.
Image: Saina Nehwal of India reacts
Photograph: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images for Falcon.