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Clara Nistad: Feels like I’ve been doing this for a very long time
Date: 4/6/2020 3:53 PM
Published by : BEC Staff

Sweden has a very proud badminton history, being the third most successful country in the European Championships all-time medal table and won the mixed team event twice in the early nineties. Clara Nistad is a young women’s doubles player hailing from Stockholm who strives to bring back these successes for her country. 

Nistad started playing with she was seven years old and began competing just two years later. Although still 24, the Swede is a familiar face on this circuit. Commenting on this, Nistad says.

- I agree with you because in some ways it feels like I’ve been doing this for a very long time and on the other hand, I still feel quite young. One of the reasons why it feels like I’ve been playing longer than I have might be the fact that I have already switched partner several times.

In an ideal world, doubles partnerships will be given the time to settle, allowing players to gain a natural understanding of each other’s games on the court. However, Nistad has not been so lucky in this regard as unfortunately both of her previous partners, Emma Wengberg and Amanda Högström decided to stop their careers. However, it seems like she has not wasted any time and found a good partnership with Moa Sjoo. Speaking on this, Nistad states. 

- Yes, I think that we have managed to build a good partnership during the last couple of months that we have been playing together. I think that we have been improving over this whole period and I think that we can get better as well. We just need to keep working hard and get more solid. 

Read: Davletova: Maria Sharapova has inspired me

One hundred per cent in finals

Clara Nistad has five titles to her name and a one hundred per cent conversion rate when reaching finals. The last title win was in 2019 when winning the Portugal International with temporary Danish partner, Julie Finne-Ipsen. 

Now taking strides forward with Sjoo, Nistad shares her short-term goals to get back to title-winning ways.

- At the moment it’s hard to think about short term goals as we have no idea about what the future will look like at the moment. If the tournaments start again around September, I hope that we can start winning some challenge tournaments. 

Thinking bigger, towards her ultimate career goals, Nistad talks about the European Championships, a tournament her country has hosted four times before.

- A big goal is to medal at the European Championships. We know that it will be tough but if we keep working hard, I think that we might have what it takes. Coming from Sweden I know it can be tough sometimes when you look to some of the bigger nations at the moment.

In order to achieve these heights, players are always striving for positive changes each day. One such development Nistad dreams about is to be able to have good sparring every day, as she says. 

- We’re just a few players here in Sweden and even if we could train with the boys it would be a huge difference to be able to train with high-level women’s doubles players every day. 

Read: - I am trying to remain positive

City planning

In 2020, Nistad, with Sjoo, reached the semifinals of their home Swedish Open. They defeated a strong Japanese pair in Miyaura and Ozaki and narrowly missed out on the final against the French duo of Heriau and Lambert. Subsequently, Nistad went on to win all but one of her matches at the European Women’s Team Championships. Pleased with this beginning, Nistad said.

- We have managed to deliver some good results, but we need to get more solid and more patient and have the better psychological strength to get through the deciding points.

Lastly, Nistad was asked how she lives her life outside of being a badminton player. 

- Besides badminton, I’m studying part-time to become a city planner.

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