The scholar spectacles and the earnest expression could easily pass him off as a class topper. The course study differs somewhat,but with his talk of the struggles in learning to cook on his own,doing his own laundry,and having to make his computer his best friend,Anand Pawar can fit right into a bunch of on-vacation hostel students.
The 22-year-olds training stint in Denmark fetched him three international titles last season as well as a direction to his game and Pawar thinks he has found the right learning centre for himself. The Mumbai boy has been training under Danish badminton legend Morten Frost for the past two years,and having made it to a world No 45 ranking,says hes found his answer to the riddle of whether to reach the top through winning in Europe or struggling through Asia.
It depends on what works for you. In the end,you want good results,a steadily climbing ranking and perfection in your game. Im comfortable doing it through Europe,so I have no reason to change it, says Pawar,a semi-finalist at the senior nationals here in Indore.
Pawar climbed from outside the top 120 in the world at the beginning of 2008 to his current spot riding on his three titles in European last year the Austrian International,the Portuguese International and the Hungarian International and deep runs into the draws of a few others,and that ensured his target of the worlds top 50 was achieved. Its going to get tougher now as moving higher up from the 40s is much more difficult than making the 40s. But I believe in setting realistic targets. Ill be happy with getting into the top 30 by the end of 2009, Pawar says.
The current India No 4 and national team regular insists the prospect of taking over the mantle from the current top three of Chetan Anand,Aravind Bhat and Anup Sridhar is not daunting. Were all playing at the same level at the moment,though they have experience and the confidence of many good results behind them, he says.
Frost has made him a more consistent player,he adds. There is a lot of on-court concentration,making your game solid, he explains. Ive also become stronger mentally.
It might have made him a little introspective too. The social system there is a lot more formal,so Ive learnt to spend a lot of time on my own,going for walks,or watching movies alone, Pawar says.
The next study term is scheduled to begin in July. They spend the summer on the beach,so the season will only begin post that.