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Saina rates Hong Kong win one of her best

other Updated: Dec 14, 2010 20:22 IST

IANS
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India's badminton ace Saina Nehwal returned home to a grand welcome, and rated the Hong Kong Super Series title at par with her maiden Super Series victory in Indonesia.

Saina won her first Super Series title last year and went on to add three more this year.

"This win is special... Barring the world no.1, all top players competed. I had not fared well previously in the tournament. So, I would rate this victory at par with my first title and certainly one of the best wins," Saina told reporters on Tuesday.

The road to the final was never going to be easy for the ace shuttler as she had to overcome the challenge of local girl Yip Pui Yin, who shocked the Indian in the quarterfinals of the Asian Games in China.

"I was really nervous in the match against Yip," said Saina.

"I was 0-4 down in the first game and that increased the tension. But after that I don't know how I ended up winning comfortably.

"That win gave me the confidence of doing well in the semis and the finals.

"It was highly satisfying to beat the Asian Games gold medallist (Shixian Wang). I was good with my strokes, especially with the drop shots. Beating a Chinese always gives you a boost.

"Also she has been doing well this year and beating top players. So it was great to beat her in the final."

The world no.4 has already set goals for next year, which she thinks will be a tough one. Saina is eying the coveted All England title besides doing well in the qualifications of the London Olympics.

"I want to win in England and after that the World Championships will be an important event. The Olympics is still some time away but it is a dream for any athlete to win a medal there," said Saina.

The 20-year-old has won three of the five Super Series she has played this year. That, says coach Pullela Gopichand, is a remarkable feat.

"It is commendable on Saina's part as she is ready to take the kind of workload that is required for playing back-to-back tournaments. The field in Hong Kong is always tough. To win there is a great achievement.

"Things will get tougher for her next year. All the top players will be reading her game closely. We will try to make her ready for the challenge," said Gopichand.