‘Never expected to perform so well in Denmark & French Open’
By N Jagannath Das | ENS - HYDERABAD
31st October 2012 12:05 PM
“This has been one of my best years,’’ said Saina Nehwal on her return from Denmark and France where she won and finished runners-up on Tuesday.
“I think this year has been really good for me. I won so many titles like Swiss, Thailand, Indonesian, Denmark and the bronze medal in London Olympics,’’ said the 22-year-old.
However, Saina, who is troubled by a right knee, will opt out of the China Open Super Series tournament, which is starting November 13 to 18.
“My knee needs some more attention. I may opt out of the China Open (starting on November 13 to 18) and give rest to my knee. I will play the Hong Kong Super Series,’’ said the World no 2. Excerpts from an interview...
On the successful tournaments after Olympics
I’m so happy to do well in these two tournaments (Denmark Super Series Premier and French Open Super Series) as these were first ones after the London Olympics. I had to attend many felicitation functions before I could get ready for the big events. I had a reasonable practice and my knee was giving me trouble ever since the Olympics. I had never expected to perform so well in these tournaments. I have to appreciate the good work of my physio Kiran who took care of my knee. Edwin as coach was helpful with strategies in the absence of Gopi Sir(Pullela Gopichand).
On Denmark Open and French Open
Many of the players had come to Denmark with good preparation. They were in good form. But (Juliane) Schenk was in great form. She beat top players like Olympic champion Li Xuerui. She came into the final with a lot of confidence. However, I could play strongly to ward off her challenge. The strokes came off very well. My movement was good. Playing for 10 days and losing one match is the best show this year.
On beating Schenk in successive tournaments
I could not believe that I could beat her in straight games on both occasions. She is right now one of the best players of the world. She is in very good shape. She was stunned. She told me that I play really good. She was confused and did not know what to do against me. She is a sweet girl.
Losing the French Open final to Minatsu Mitani
That was a bad day for me. I was not the same player in the final. I was not moving well. My body was not reacting quickly. But I should give credit to Minatsu. She is very good and very dangerous. She is very athletic. She has got the strokes and she will be the player to be watched in the future. The best part is that you have many exciting players coming up in the world. You have the Thai girls who are also very competitive.
On beating Wang Yihan after having 0-5 record
To be honest, I was nervous but I planned very well against Yihan. I had a strategy planned out and as my strokes began to come out well, Yihan began to crack under pressure. I could move well at the net and I dictated the terms. She was not reading my game. I made her run back and front. That movement was not comfortable for her. Then finally, when she thought she was losing the battle, she gave up the match. I don’t think she was actually injured.
On recent losses of the Chinese players
The Chinese are always a strong badminton nation. It may be a temporary phase. They will find a way to come back strongly. We have to find new ways to beat them. The Chinese players are still feared a lot. We cannot take them lightly and we cannot expect to beat them in every tournament. It will always be challenging to play against them.
On Sindhu & herself doing well against Chinese
We have talented players and credit goes to Gopichand sir. He has made badminton a force to reckon with in the country. We have to look for consistency now.
On chances of ending World no one or two
I have to wait. If you play well consistently you can become world number one or two. It all depends on your hard work, your game and the number of victories. Then you will be the best. The world number one and two (Yihan and Xuerui) were consistent throughout the year.
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