Back-to-back titles a big boost for me before London Olympics: Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal, fresh from her title win at the Indonesian Open Super Series said that back-to-back titles were a big boost for her before the Olympics. “Winning two titles and beating so many top players is exciting. I am glad to end on a winning note and I know these wins will encourage several youngsters who are taking up badminton.  I had close matches against all of them. But right now Li Xuerui (her opponent in the final, who is not in the list of Olympic qualifiers so far) is in the best of form. She had won four tournaments continuously and was unbeaten for 30 matches. Beating her was a very big thing for me,” said Saina, according to a news in The Times Of India.

Speaking about her Olympics preparations, Saina said that she along with her coach (Gopichand) were really working hard. “The important part is to be injury free for Olympics. Mentally I am in the right frame, having won two tournaments,” said Saina, adding that the Chinese are strong but it was not impossible to beat them.

“I am trying my best to defeat most of them. More than the final, the quarterfinal was like a final for me. The one-hour 40-minute battle was memorable. I have never played such a long match. This shows every player, especially the Chinese, fights for every point. I know I have to be like them to beat them. I need to train a lot more,” said Saina.

Meanwhile according to a report in the Indian Express, enduring nerve-wrecking matches and coming out triumphant from tough situations has raised her confidence a lot ahead of London Olympics but ace shuttler Saina Nehwal says she still needs to fine-tune some aspects of her game before the mega event.

"I feel I need to improve a lot. There is still a lot to be done. Whatever I did in these two tournaments, it was good. But I also found some weak areas, I have to work on those areas," Saina said.

The 22-year-old from Hyderabad emerged victorious in the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold in Bangkok earlier this month before claiming the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier title in Jakarta last week. "The two tournaments, I won at a stretch are very important. It is a new thing again for me. Because, since last year, I was looking for good wins. I am happy that I beat top players in these two tournaments. I am happy that there were memorable moments like playing for one hour 40 minutes and winning those tough matches," she added.

Asked how she managed to come back in the final as she had lost the first game and was two-match point down in the second game, Saina said she was determined to do well.

"I was not thinking that I am going to lose the match. I was only thinking about performing well and giving my best in each and every part. I think that attitude really helped me to win the second game. Because she (her rival) was two match points up but third game was a close fight,” Saina said according to media reports.

Speaking about her bouncing back from being one-game down and going on to win matches, Saina said that it was tough. “You need to be really patient and not get worried about winning the first game. You have to start fresh again from the start. I have to be like that to win big matches. I have to be prepared for it in every match. Even if I lose the first game, I have to be ready to win the second and third games,” Saina said, adding that India’s chances at London Olympics is good. “It is going to be good, all of us are training hard. Everyone is performing well. Not only in badminton, but also in other disciplines, we have good chance of winning medals,” said Saina, according to The DNA.