Stamford ace Tania Bailey will compete in next week's British Championships and then take a break from action to boost her chances of earning Commonwealth Games selection later in the year.
The 1997 world junior champion is still struggling with a knee injury despite undergoing an operation in 2008 but she admits she can not afford to miss next week's competition if she is to keep her hopes of competing in Delhi in October alive.

It's been a nightmare two years for the 30 year-old, who had just got back to her best and risen to number four in the world rankings towards the end of 2007 when she suffered her knee injury. Since then she has also undergone a hip oeration but she remains hopeful of earning selection for India.

Her form in between what seems like endless setbacks has shown she has the ability to get back to her best and 10 months ago she recorded her first WISPA World Tour event success for five years when winning in Malaysia.

Bailey has not played since November, having been forced out of the Monte Carlo Classic in December with a chronic sinus infection.

She then suffered a reaction to her longstanding knee injury during two England training camps, hence her decision to take a break after next week's competition in Manchester - a tournament she won in 2006.

She said: "I had that chronic sinus infection and then went from doing nothing to five or six hours a day at those training camps and I suffered a reaction and my knee swelled up.

"My body couldn't take it but those training camps were crucial as far as my Commonwealth Games hopes are concerned so I just couldn't miss them.

"It's the same with next week. We're expected to play in national competitions so even though I'm going into it not properly prepared and without any expectations I have to play.

"So I'll play there and then take a short time off to recover before coming back and trying to earn selection.

"One of the criteria for selection is ranking points and I will definitely drop some with not playing but there are a lot of other factors taken into consideration. They include whether you're a good doubles player, past experience - and I'm the only one in the squad who's ever got a medal at the Commonwealths - team spirit and how you conduct yourself on the court, so that makes me feel a bit better.

"I feel hopeful that if I can keep myself fit I will earn selection but I am being honest with the team officials and keeping them informed so if I am not fit enough I will say so.

"I don't have any fears about my knee flaring up next week because the games are nowhere near as long as we were playing at that training camp.

Article Courtesy of Peterborough ET.  Written by Bob Frank