Neslihan Yigit is the only Turkish player at the three-tournament HSBC BWF World Tour season finale in Bangkok this month. It makes the women’s singles world No.32 “proud of my roots and excited to fly the flag solo” for Turkey.
“This is a good feeling. Attending the Asian tournaments with elite athletes makes me happy and excited,” said Yigit.
“It’s my first tournament after about a year and I’ve never experienced this much excitement and stress. It’s good to be back on the field again. I really missed traveling. I hope everything will be fine.”
Yigit made her way safely to the Thai capital on 4 January with her trainer and the support of the Turkish Badminton Federation.
Having not competed since the Barcelona Spain Masters in February, Yigit is keen to see where her level is after the Coronavirus wiped out the badminton calendar in 2020.
“There hasn’t been an opportunity to evaluate myself. Actually I wonder what level I’m at,” admits the 26-year-old.
“The lockdown was difficult for all of us. During that period, at every possible opportunity I continued my exercises and trained to stay in good shape.
“I cannot say I’m prepared for this tournament. I trained regularly for the last 10 months so I just want to see where I am among these elite athletes and shape my work accordingly.”
Yigit also spoke of how she prepares for matches.
“I have no superstitions but I’ve had a good education period. When I think like that, I feel stronger on the field.”
In Bangkok, Yigit will get a chance to avenge her quarterfinal loss to Thailand’s eighth seeded Pornpawee Chochuwong, who she faces in the first round.
Asked who she sees as her toughest opponents going into the Asian swing, Yigit replied: “All athletes have their strengths. I’m just looking forward to the match atmosphere.”