Saina Nehwal aims to be world’s No.1

April 11th, 2010

India’s badminton star Saina Nehwal said her decision to play in selected international tournaments has worked wonders for her and the day is not far when she will be the World number one. India’s badminton star Saina Nehwal, currently ranked sixth, is now participating in limited tournaments and is more focussed on winning titles. The 20-year-old from Hyderabad is the top seed in Badminton Asia Championships beginning on Monday and is supremely confident.

For the first time in the history of the Event, Indian players were top seeded in two of the five events. The Indian badminton Saina Nehwal in the Ladies Singles and the Mixed Doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Diju Valiyaveetil in the Mixed event.

Saina told reporters on Saturday:
"I am playing in selected tournaments now and it has worked well for me. It is giving me adequate time to train and also spend quality time with my family. So when I go back to courts, I am fresh, focussed and well prepared to face the top players and the aim  is to win every tournament," 
"This year the focus is to do well in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. If I continue like this, I can be soon the number one, hopefully."

Saina, who will play Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the opening round, said playing at home will be an advantage. But there will also be pressure on her to live up to the expectations.
"Even the world’s top player is under pressure to win every match. I think pressure will always be there when you are a top seed. The draw is tough. As of now, I am focussing only on the first match. I have trained really hard and I am quite confident of performing well. I am in good shape, probably the best in my career so far. The last four-five months have been good for me. I reached the semi-finals of All England Championship. My game has also improved a lot.” "It will be a tough competition. Players like Zhou Mi and Pui Yin Yip from Hong Kong will be strong contenders."

Saina also said that the Indian team was high on confidence ahead of the tournament.
"The Indian players have had some good results recently and they will hopefully do well here. Jwala Gutta and V. Diju have got the top billing in mixed doubles and they have a relatively easier draw, so I think they have a good chance of going up in the tournament."

Saina, wants media to give more coverage to badminton.

"We are doing so well as a team and this is the right time for the sport to get attention and grow in the country. If the young players do not get sponsorship now, it will be difficult for them to go to the next level."

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