Returning to a familiar arena after a career-threatening back problem, Praveen Jordan allowed himself a broad smile. Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti had crossed a tricky first round obstacle, in the form of compatriots Dejan Ferdinansyah and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja, emerging winners in three games.
Three years ago this was the stage for their career’s biggest triumph. Since then their career has followed a somewhat uneven path, with more downs than ups, and with Jordan undergoing surgery to his spine last year, the situation appeared dire.
They made their comeback at the Indonesia Masters in January where they lost the opening round; at last week’s YONEX German Open 2023 they lasted until the second. But the All England is different, for Jordan has two titles here, with Debby Susanto in 2016 and Oktavianti in 2020.
“We are happy to be back at the All England, it’s exciting to be here. We enjoyed the game today, particularly as it’s a long time since I played here,” said Jordan.
“I had a surgery to my spine six months ago. Of course I was down and lost faith due to the pain. After the surgery I couldn’t play for three months. But I was always motivated to return, and thanks to Melati’s commitment, we want to reach a high level again.”
How far off is he from his best form?
“I’m trying my best, I’m not yet at my highest level. But I’m looking to get back and doing my best. The point is that after the operation, now I’m ready to compete.”
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