He answered readily to most questions in a quick interview with The New Paper yesterday.
But Singapore shuttler Danny Bawa Chrisnanta paused for a long while when asked about his feelings after the South-east Asia (SEA) Games last December.
The doubles specialist finally replied: "It was very bad... it was probably the lowest point in my career."
Paired with Vanessa Neo in the mixed doubles in Myanmar, the then-world No. 19 duo were knocked out after losing their opening match to Thailand's Jongjit Maneepong and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Said Chrisnanta (above), 25: "I was too eager to win and I was confident when we stepped onto the court. But I totally lost confidence after we started."
It was a good year gone bad - the pair were ranked ninth in the world in February last year, but suffered several early exits in competitions thereafter. The Dutch Open title last October was a small boost, but their mediocre season even led to the pair to consider splitting up.
His mood yesterday was a stark contrast to last December - Chrisnanta was relaxed and smiling during the OUE Singapore Open press conference at the Mandarin Orchard.
The former Indonesia Under-18 doubles player had reason to be chirpy.
Chrisnanta and Neo upset Indonesia's world No. 7 pair Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth to reach the quarter-finals of the All England Championships in England last month.
He also won the Malaysian Grand Prix Gold men's doubles title with Chayut Triyachart two weeks ago, beating Malaysia's world No. 15 Goh V Shem and Lim Khim Wah in the final.
It was their first title together, and only their fourth tournament after Chayut returned to the Singapore Badminton Association last November, after leaving in January last year.
Chrisnanta said: "I actually feel more fresh (in our partnership) after he returned last year. "I also feel more mature and patient now."
This will be a landmark season for Chrisnanta, who will feature in several major competitions.
He is likely to play in next month's Thomas Cup finals in New Delhi, and has been selected for both the Commonwealth and Asian Games later this year.
But he hopes also to do better at the SEA Games in Singapore in June next year.
He said: "I feel that I am getting stronger in both my doubles and there are still many things to learn. "I am not at my peak yet."
This article was published on April 10 in The New Paper.
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