Gotta be honest, today's close match against Thulasi made me lose a bit of hope. Perhaps, Saina didn't play to her full potential or maybe Thulasi wasn't as bad as pre-conceived by me.
If one knows his opponent well enough and is confident to beat him, he plays with lesser speed - or with the opponent's speed. So the score doesn't really mater, and so the unforced errors too.
e.g. - Some random 30th ranked player losing 18-21 18-21 against LCW doesn't always mean that LCW played bad or the lower ranked player played good. If decided, LCW could thrash him under 10, but he wouldn't really stretch himself much, knowing the outcome of the match beforehand. Probably this was the case with Saina/Thulasi match.
I feel Saina is playing decent recently, especially after shedding some weight. With her current form, I dont see Eriko Hirose beating her tomorrow. I wouldn't have said this confidently 2-3 mons back.
Only players who could defeat Saina (on her current form) are - LXR, Yihan Wang, Wang Sixian, Li Han (probably), Ji Hyun Sung (probably).
I know I havent named few upcoming players, but as i said, Saina is playing good. Akane Yamaguchi Vs Saina should be an interesting match - whenever it happens!
This is my personal perception after watching her in Uber cup, though my assumption could be wrong.
me too.. in my opinion just chinese that can defeat her.. amazing
HYDERABAD: After the much awaited triumph Down Under, Saina Nehwal arrived to a grand welcome here on Monday night. The smile was back on her face as the only Indian shuttler to win an Olympic medal spoke about the tough times she endured during the last 20 months. Excerpts:
How do you rate your victory at the Australian Open?
I rate this win very high. After my Olympic bronze medal, this is the best victory for me. The last 20 months were tough and this title has made me forget all those hard days. I had won gold at the Commonwealth Games, titles in premier tournaments and also a hat-trick of crowns but this is something very very special.
What was the low point in the last 20 months?
There were a few but the worst was when I lost in the first round of the Singapore Open this April. I cried and asked my mother whether I will win again. But soon I recovered and was determined to regain lost ground.
How did you handle criticism?
Initially, it was difficult. But I realized I had nothing to prove to anyone. Rather than feeling bad about what people were saying I thought more on where I was going wrong. I wanted to concentrate on getting better. I was doing all the hard work but injuries hampered my progress.
There was a lot of talk about PV Sindhu and her rivalry with you. Did her success and your losses hurt you?
I know this talk will be there. I want her to win and if she plays well she will win. But why should anyone compare Sindhu with me or me with some other player. I am not worried about any opponent, but felt bad when people had written me off. I still have age on my side and I have the will to do well.
Where did you go wrong after 2012?
Firstly, I suffered injuries because I trained very seriously for the Olympics. With injuries you can't do anything. It affected my fitness and when I am not in shape how can I do well.
What is your target now?
My target is to keep myself fit and beat the top Chinese players regularly. If I beat them, the titles will follow. I had worked tirelessly on my fitness. Believe me I am in a better shape than I was in 2012.
Surprisingly this time you dedicated the title to yourself and not to your parents or coach?
Yeah, it's because this victory wholly belongs to me. It's because of a lot of hard work I had done that I was able to win the title.
Eminent agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal were today presented with the 'Ambassadors of Goodwill' award by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) here.
Describing the award as an honour, Saina said she would promote the cause of agriculture in whichever way she can.
It is announced by new state government that saina will receive 50 lakhs announced for her bronze medal @ london olympics and further more 20 lakhs for her australian super series. So, I think that there is nothing wrong in asking the pending money. She has an iconic status in india. She is well deserved for this. She should be addressed immediately.
Saina Nehwal to split with Pullela Gopichand, train with Vimal Kumar
HYDERABAD: One of the most successful coach-player partnerships in Indian sport may be coming to an end.
The combination of Pullela Gopichand and Saina Nehwal, which brought laurels to the country and made badminton more than a recreational sport, is reportedly splitting, at least for now.
It is learned that the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina, who has nearly 20 international titles under her belt, has decided to move to Bangalore to train with former India coach Vimal Kumar ahead of the Asian Games.
The 24-year-old had conveyed the decision to Gopi during the World Championships in Denmark last week. The coach told her to go ahead.
Sources said Saina's loss of form and the rise of other players like PV Sindhu and K Srikanth had made her rethink her coaching options as Gopi was forced to split his time between these top shuttlers.
Her loss in the quarterfinals of the recent World Championship was the last straw. Saina Nehwal told TOI on Monday that she is looking for a change.
"Yes, I am going to Bangalore tomorrow. I want to train with Vimal Kumar Sir. His tips during the Uber Cup were quite helpful. But after the Asian Games I will come back here. I just want to try and train with him. I hope it will be helpful for me. I told Gopi Sir during the World Championships and he said OK," Saina said.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that the duo split. In 2011, Saina decided to train under Baskar Babu but returned to Gopichand within three months. She later regretted that decision and praised Gopi for helping her win the Olympic bronze.
But the rough patch she endured after winning the Denmark Open in October 2012 and Australian Open in June 2014 rattled her.
Though sources close to Saina said the shuttler will train in Bangalore for 15 days ahead of the Asian Games, it may also be a long-term arrangement.
Saina started training with Gopi before the latter became the national coach in 2006. She soon became the first Indian girl to win the Grand Prix Gold, Super Series and Super Series Premier titles.
Saina is also the only Indian to win an Olympic medal in badminton.