A shoulder injury to Nagahara ruled her out of Japan’s campaign during the European leg, which included the Sudirman Cup, Uber Cup, Denmark Open and French Open. Matsumoto experimented with several other partners, with mixed results.
“Playing this tournament is important because I was out of competition for many months,” said Nagahara. “I’m happy to be back at this tournament and happy to be playing again. When I was injured I felt quite bad, but I think it also gave me the time to analyse my game and think about how to prepare well and I’m happy to be here.”
The world champions entered the Round of 16 of the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2021 beating Denmark’s Christine Busch/Amalie Schulz 21-12 21-7 and will next face Hong Kong China’s Ng Wing Yung/Yeung Nga Ting.
“I thought maybe we would be nervous but actually we felt fine and relaxed on court,” said Matsumoto. “Although we are not 100 per cent we will try our best.”