Saina is now World No.6, aims for top spot by year end | other | Hindustan Times
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Saina is now World No.6, aims for top spot by year end

other Updated: Jul 04, 2009 18:19 IST
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India's teenage badminton sensation Saina Nehwal, who moved up one spot to sixth place in the latest world rankings, said she is aiming to become World No. 1 by the year end.

The 19-year-old from Hyderabad last month became the first Indian women to win a Super Series title, by lifting the Indonesian Open.

"The last 11 months have been great for me. I worked hard to improve my game a lot and am happy that it is being reflected in my rankings also. I am targeting the No.1 spot by the end of the year," Saina told IANS.

She is now the third Indian badminton player to be ranked among the top six after Prakash Padukone (world No.1) and her coach Pullela Gopichand (world No.4). Both Padukone achieved his highest ranking after winning the All England Championship in 1980 and Gopichand in 2001.

For Saina the next target is the World Championships in her hometown in August. The rise in the ranking would help her to get a favourable draw.

"World Championships is going to be my next big event. It is special because I will be playing in front of my home crowd. Can't think of anything else other than winning it," she said.

Saina also said that it was her mental strength that helped her to come so far in the international circuit.

"I have become mentally strong and that has benefited my game. Now I have more control over my shots. My only concern is to give my best and keep winning," she said.