Isn’t Winning Good? Saina Nehwal Says ‘Always Been a Fighter’ After Sensational Win in India Open

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London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal on Tuesday vowed to maintain preventing as she believes she has the sport to match one of the best in the enterprise.

The former world No. 1, who has had a powerful previous couple of years primarily attributable to a knee damage, notched up a preventing 21-17, 12-21, 21-19 win over world No. 24 Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in her opening match.

Saina started on a constructive be aware and raced to an 11-6 lead in the opening recreation earlier than closing it with out a lot ado. However, Blichfeldt stayed in management all through the second recreation and it seemed just like the momentum had shifted in direction of the Dane.

However, Saina confirmed that she had sufficient and extra in her reserves as she went on the offensive to counter her opponent’s attacking strokes and got here up with a misleading internet shot to shut the match.

“I’ve all the time been a fighter, I wish to problem,” mentioned the 32-year-old from Hyderabad.

“See, my mind sometimes stops working after losing so many matches. You are losing and losing but then today I was not thinking about match points. This was giving me tension in the last few matches because I was not pulling off matches.

“Confidence was lacking today (Tuesday) but I am happy I played without any knee issues. In the last few months, it was a gradual improvement. I worked on my stamina, and overall hitting game and everything went well today,” mentioned Saina.

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Saina, whose finest end result in 2022 was a quarter-final end on the Singapore Open, mentioned it was essential to win a first-round match to get the self-belief again.

“I used to be getting powerful gamers in first spherical. I needed to pull out such matches in order that I can get confidence and play towards one of the best gamers. At the second, I may be good towards the highest gamers,” she added.

“She (Mia) has been playing well against top players. So, I think, with coverage, speed and shots I can match the top players.

“I have improved in my movement, and that made a lot of difference. I have been improving my knee, my body. The better my knees are, the better are my lunges.”

Asked about what has been hardest factor to come back to phrases with in the previous couple of years, Saina mentioned, “Nothing, I imply, though, individuals will talk about you not performing and it’s pure. If I take into consideration individuals then I’ve to cease taking part in badminton. I used to be simply eager about myself.

“I wished to search out a answer. The challenge was small, it was not one thing I couldn’t combat out. I simply thought it was not such a huge damage that I couldn’t discover a answer to. If I can then good, if I can’t, there may be all the time the choice of stopping badminton.”

Saina said she will quit the sport if her body fails to cope with the rigours.

“Players like to play, when the body says ‘no’ then you have to stop. There are some players who feel they have achieved enough, they stop but otherwise you always feel like doing well and when I feel I will also stop,” she mentioned.

Asked if there may be something left to attain, Saina replied, “Isn’t profitable good? It can be good.”

“See, I have no motivation or feeling that I can be a coach. I can see that in Guru (RMV Gurusaidutt), (Parupalli) Kashyap and (HS) Prannoy in future. They all have that coaching ability, but I don’t even have that. So, I thought, let me play some more years.”

She will now face China’s Chen Yufei in the subsequent spherical. The Tokyo Olympic gold medallist defeated Michelle Li of Canada 21-19, 21-15.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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