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  1. #171
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    Saina Nehwal: I Don’t Know What is Enjoyment


    http://idiva.com/news-entertainment/saina-nehwal-i-dont-know-what-is-enjoyment/22873


    EXCERPTS:






    Image courtesy: Taras Taraporvala


    At the India Open two months ago, the audience watched with rapt attention and cheered for the players, regardless of their nationality. And for the first time, they stuck on long after the 23-year-old Indian, Saina Nehwal, was ousted from the series. The fact that there weren’t any Indian players competing didn’t seem to stop the spectators from packing in a full house. After thinning crowds for the last two years, people are finally warming up to badminton. And yes, Saina Nehwal’s victories have something to do with this.

    It’s impossible to talk about Nehwal without mentioning the effect she has had on the country’s perception towards badminton. The ace shuttler’s overwhelming appeal has leveraged the popularity of the game. Nehwal wasn’t an overnight success; she quietly went from being mentioned in the side columns of the sports pages to hogging the headlines. She has achieved a lot of firsts for India — the first woman to win the Indonesian Open Series in 2009. Then came her win at the 2010 Commonwealth Games (another first for the country) and finally the bronze she scored at the 2012 London Olympics.

    Born in Hisar, Haryana, Nehwal started playing badminton at nine when her family moved to Hyderabad. It was her first summer in a new town with no friends, so her parents signed her up for karate lessons as well. After scoring a brown belt, she moved to rule the badminton court. By the end of that summer, the coaches at the vigorous badminton camp saw a spark in the young player, and prodded her to continue training. Soon her parents had scheduled their lives around Nehwal’s training sessions, often waking up at 4 am to reach the stadium, located an hour-long bus ride away.

    Nehwal’s road to titles can be credited to her mother, Usha Nehwal, who used to be a state-level badminton player. “She was more interested in the sport. She taught me a lot of things I didn’t know when I was younger,” admits Nehwal during our interview. “Even today when she watches my matches, she knows where I am weak and advises me.”

    Her father dipped into his savings to fund her training and the expensive badminton kit. After Class 11, she made a “difficult decision” and gave up school to concentrate on the 2008 Olympics. Nehwal confesses she has never had a chance to regret her choices since then. She modestly accepts her fame and luck and says, “I got many things at the right time and that’s not very common with badminton players in India.”

    With sponsors like Yonex and Deccan Chronicle stepping in to help, along with the support of Olympic Gold Quest, the rising star got the boost she needed to secure a top world ranking. And then, awards like the Padma Shri and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna followed, along with brand endorsements, and a BMW 3-series that was gifted to her by the Andhra Badminton Association.

    During her early years, Nehwal was tagged as a precocious player. While she was still in the junior league, the 13-year-old was known to defeat players 10 years her senior. “I was always concentrating on working hard. I began to enjoy it when I started winning the titles and playing with the team at an international level. I never knew if I would reach this position. I was always thinking about performing well and winning that tournament.” For a champion like Nehwal, winning rates high. The reigning world number two player has always maintained that scoring a position on the podium has been one of her biggest motivations.

    In her biography Saina Nehwal: An Inspirational Biography, the author and journalist TS Sudhir notes: “The seniors who have seen Saina grow as a player point to her self-belief and her refusal to accept defeat as two virtues that have contributed immensely to her success. It is almost as if you should necessarily get very, very upset if you lose a game you should have won or if you caved in without putting up a fight against a stronger opponent. In Saina’s case, the urge to ‘take revenge’ has always been part of her personality. In fact, when younger, ‘taking revenge’ also meant trying to defeat the same opponent with the same score.”

    On court, Nehwal’s aggression and killer instinct take over. Her hair pushed back with colourful pins, she shuffles across the court playing each shot with a leonine energy. With multiple tournaments around the year, she barely spends two months at home that are also spent training.

    She says, “I have only been playing for the last one-and-a-half years. It gets too difficult to get a break in this sport.” Nehwal wears her sweat and hard work like a mark of honour.

    Her “I don’t really give up easily” attitude makes her a real trooper. In December 2010, she suffered a foot injury during the Hong Kong Super Series and this was followed by a bad run. But she’s not the kind to sit on the sidelines and sulk. She decided to bounce back in time to train for the Olympics. “I realised I needed to rest and give myself some time. How well you eat and rest helps you analyse your energy reserves,” she says.

    She has always been a fan of tennis-star Roger Federer’s on-court calm and playing tactics, but she “never looked up to anyone in India. My mom had set a set a target for me, she wanted me to be an Olympic medallist and I was just going with that kind of momentum. I just wanted to be Saina Nehwal, Olympic medallist. That was my dream.”

    But unknowingly, she has become a role model for badminton aficionados, and that comes with its own pressures. “I am comfortable in that position. I have to be prepared for all the challenges and want the young girls to be confident and to think that if I can do it, they can also achieve it.”

    While Saina is busy creating a new benchmark for Indian women, she hasn’t spent much time off-court. But she has no regrets and doesn’t look at her life any differently. “I’m a normal girl,” she says. “I don’t go out much and I don’t know what is enjoyment. I play and I go to my room and think about my match.”

  2. #172
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    Delighted to be in same team as Taufiq Hidayat: Saina


    New Delhi, July 29, 2013
    http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-...cle4967024.ece

    Excerpts:

    London Games silver (sic) medallist and IBL Icon player Saina Nehwal is delighted to be part of the same team as former Olympic champion and her childhood hero Taufiq Hidayat.

    The 23-year-old Nehwal, who is preparing for the upcoming World Championship in China next month, said, “He (Taufiq) is a role model and a driving force in the game. I’m really happy to be part of Hyderabad Hotshots team and I was thrilled once he was also included.”

    ...“Getting to train and play along with him is going to be brilliant. It will be the best part about playing the league,” the world No.3 women’s player said.

    The Indian shuttle star further added, “Fans would love to watch him on courts. I know Taufik Sir since I joined the game. He is known for his wrist play, his back strokes are matchless and so nicely and accurately hit, and his net play and court coverage is unparalleled.

    “I remember playing with him as a mixed double partner for an exhibition match in Syed Modi Memorial tournament in Lucknow in 2009. I have great memories of that match. I also have a smashing photograph with him, Prakash (Padukone) sir and Gopi (Pullela Gopichand) sir from an event held in Mumbai the same year.

    “Now, our association for Hyderabad Hotshots will be for more than a fortnight.”

    Commenting on the Indonesian’s famed charm and handsome looks, Saina, who has a hat-trick of Indonesia Open titles under her belt, said, “Taufiq sir is the king of badminton, handsome, talented and very humble. He is extremely energetic on the court and so charming that he makes badminton look easy and simple, though it’s not. It is the fastest game in the world and requires loads of energy to play. Taufiq sir is very simple and yet moody, if he is not interested in a game he will not play. I’m sure his presence will be a great morale booster to Hyderabad Hotshots.”

  3. #173
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    Saina: Always nervous at the start of any event

    http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-...cle4978795.ece

    EXCERPTS:

    Saina Nehwal, India’s best medal hope in the World badminton championship to be held in Guangzhou in China from August 5, doesn’t attach much significance to the easy draw she has got in the meet.


    “Regardless of the draw, I am always nervous at the start of any event. What matters is how well you perform on the given day.


    “This has been my firm belief over the years. But you need a good start to get the momentum going,” said Saina.


    “Moreover, at this level, anyone can spring a surprise. You can’t say this player is easy to face or that one is difficult. Reputations and rankings don’t matter once you are on the court,” the 23-year-old Saina told The Hindu before leaving for the World championship.


    Best chance



    “I do not see the coming World championships as the biggest challenge since I have won an Olympic medal and many Super Series tournaments. But yes, a special performance here does mean a lot for any player,” she said.


    “And it cannot be presumed that this is the best chance for me to win the World title since there are so many factors involved.”


    Asked about the pressure factor, she said: “It is the Chinese players who will feel the pressure since they will be playing at home. I don’t feel any extra pressure at the prospect of taking them on in front of their home crowds,” said Saina.


    On the areas of focus during training, she said: “The main objective is to be a complete player with Gopi sir working in that direction. The World title is another dream I am chasing right now,” said Saina.


    She also felt that this World Championship was not just about Saina as far as the Indian challenge was concerned.


    “There are others like Sindhu, Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram who can spring surprises. This is what I believe is a major plus for Indian badminton as we have players with the ability to make a huge impact on their day,” she said.


    Chief national coach P. Gopi Chand too felt that it was always important to take it match by match in any tournament.


    “You have to improve with each match and in quick time to be a winner.


    “Fortunately, Saina has this amazing characteristic and that is why I am optimistic of a good performance this time around.

    I am also pleased that the focus will be on other Indians too like Sindhu, Kashyap and Jayaram. This makes the Indian contingent a force to reckon with,” said Gopi Chand.

  4. #174
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Saina Nehwal during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006

    SN was very young at about 16 years' old when she first competed for India in the MCG.

    I had seen her play impressively even at her young age in Singapore. And when I saw her again in Melbourne, it was a chance to take a photo with a "future star" as there were no physical barriers between the players and the spectators at the MEC courts..

    She was part of the Indian team which won the bronze medal by defeating New Zealand.

    Hope her winning ways will continue and here are some pictures of the victorious Indian team and Saina for scorpion1.
    Attached Images Attached Images            

  5. #175
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    Somebody has posted these pictures already in this thread i think.Anyhow, thanks for your consideration Mr. Loh.

  6. #176
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion1 View Post
    Somebody has posted these pictures already in this thread i think.Anyhow, thanks for your consideration Mr. Loh.
    You are welcome Mr S......

    Well I've posted lots of pictures the last time, perhaps in the other "lost" thread.

  7. #177
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    Any indian members can record this interview?

  8. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion1 View Post
    Somebody has posted these pictures already in this thread i think.Anyhow, thanks for your consideration Mr. Loh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    You are welcome Mr S......

    Well I've posted lots of pictures the last time, perhaps in the other "lost" thread.
    Actually, if I'm not mistaken it was Loh and Chris who had covered the 2006 CWG and posted the pics here on BC. Chris would remind you that he was one of the first to predict this girl would go on to become a world-class player.

  9. #179
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    There is a small promo involving saina nehwal. Cool video. She is lazy off the court !!!
    Don't even have 100 Rs in her hand even though she is the highest paid badminton player in india. Seems interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnFpXk3d3aI

  10. #180
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    No wonder about saina's disappointment. Saina has got upset stomach . Here is the gopichand's tidbits about her condition.

    "Saina was actually not well. She had an upset stomach. She got drained out. She was playing well in the first game but she got really drained, there was no energy left after the first game. I don't think it dented her confidence but physically she could not compete in the second game,"

  11. #181
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    From the IBL it can be concluded that SN will not be surpassed by PVS in her badminton career in the forseeable future.

    -

  12. #182
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    Saina Nehwal, not PV Sindhu, a favourite amongst youngsters


    http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/188506...gst-youngsters

    EXCERPTS:

    About a month ago, PV Sindhu created waves by winning the World Championships bronze. She was hailed as Indian badmintons new face and was spoken about on the same platform as Saina Nehwal.


    But, almost a week after the end of the IBL, its still Saina who is dear to all the budding shuttlers in the city.


    Shanaya Wagh, 15, of Balmohan school chooses Saina over Sindhu following her unbeaten record in the IBL and playing a lead role in Hyderabad Hotshots winning the title. To see Saina fight even if the opponent is on match-point, is simply motivating.
    In that sense, Sindhu is too casual in her approach, Shanaya said.


    Riya Arolkar, Mumbais top-ranked U-14 player, loves Saina for a different reason. Saina plays more forehand attacking shots, something that I have learnt from watching her. Shes also very clever, knowing exactly when to be on the offensive. Sindhu is still inexperienced.


    Sanaa Gore-Datar of Bombay Scottish School was one of the lucky few to have met Saina at her hotel room. Saina is unfazed by the attention she gets. She spoke with me as if she knew me for ages, says Sanaa.


    Whether it is Saina or Sindhu, the badminton interest in tremendous, going by the rise in MSSA schools tournaments entries from 630 to 850.

  13. #183
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    This year has gone without any victory . Saina has lost her touch completely . She has been playing like an amateur nowadays. Pathetic display ever in her whole career. She could not even reach Quarters which shows her involvement in the game. Why does she participating in the tournaments then. Just to qualify for Superseries finals???.. Well. This proves how stupid she is. Where is her fighting tendency and mental strength. Even the contract firm is not happy with her performances it seems. With the way she lost to BYJ, SJH, SunYu etc shows how her mental strength has been deteriorating. No words to say.

  14. #184
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    She still can be a top 5 WS player if she resumes her old training routine. The key is cutting down the non-essential activities which take her away from badminton. WSX is a very good example, most people gave up on her. With commitment and determination, WSX is bouncing back. SN can if she wants to.
    Last edited by latecomer; 11-17-2013 at 03:28 AM.

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    She looks in better shape this year than last year. Seems to have lost a bit of weight. Took her time in getting into the first match of the HK Open. I still see her body turning is a split second slower than other players. She compensates by having good body muscle strength but that's not the complete solution.

    I think she could have more confidence in playing netshots as well.

  16. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    She looks in better shape this year than last year. Seems to have lost a bit of weight. Took her time in getting into the first match of the HK Open. I still see her body turning is a split second slower than other players. She compensates by having good body muscle strength but that's not the complete solution.

    I think she could have more confidence in playing netshots as well.
    She is completely out of touch.. I never ever seen her struggling this much. I think she should withdraw from Superseries finals and go back to make her completely fit. Her weight is 10 kgs more than the weight she had last year by this time..

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion1 View Post
    She is completely out of touch.. I never ever seen her struggling this much. I think she should withdraw from Superseries finals and go back to make her completely fit. Her weight is 10 kgs more than the weight she had last year by this time..
    I think she was worse at last year's HK Open.

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