‘I knew I had to work hard and stay injury-free’ | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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‘I knew I had to work hard and stay injury-free’

entertainment Updated: Jul 09, 2011 15:41 IST
Priyanka Jain
Priyanka Jain
Hindustan Times
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Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal’s rankings dropped from World No 4 position to World No 6 following a month long break last December due to an ankle injury. Though her slip in rankings is making headlines, Saina is undeterred. She says, “With every setback comes better resolve.”

Back with a blast
Though 21-year-old missed the Indian Open Grand Prix, Super Series Masters Final because of the injury, Saina came back with a punch and went on to win the Swiss Open. The badminton champ also came in second place at the Malaysian Open and had a runner-up finish in Indonesia earlier this year. Though not as good as her last year’s innings, Saina is relieved. She says, “I did well in the last matches and I’m happy with the results.”

Ask her if the slip in world rankings or losing a few matches has dipped her confidence, she quips, “I am strong enough to take all that in my stride and work harder. Today, I am more confident that I can achieve my goals and play opposite any top player in the world.” She adds, “I’m not the kind of person who will sit at home and cry because I have not won one tournament. I never give myself an option to give up. I wouldn’t have played so many tournaments otherwise.”

Family motivation
During the injury, it was motivation from her parents and coaches that kept her going, says Saina. She adds, “I am lucky to have got that kind of support from them and my sister. Their faith in my abilities never dipped.”

While getting ready to fight for the World Championships in less than four weeks, Saina admits that this year has been difficult for her. She says, “The ankle injury made me feel low. I was losing some matches and not winning as good as last year. But I didn’t let it depress me. I knew I had to work hard, focus on my game and stay injury-free.”

On training perfectly
Saina, who was present to launch Titan’s High Tech Self Energised light-powered watches, says, “Winning is not in my hands. It depends on that particular day how I am going to play. I will do my best in training and that will take care of everything during the tournament. I am not worried about the world championships or facing the Chinese players.”