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Saina Nehwal blames hectic scheduling for World Badminton Championships loss

Saina Nehwal said that her World Badminton Championships loss was due to the cramped scheduling of the tournament.

other sports Updated: Aug 26, 2017 22:59 IST
HT Correspondent
Saina Nehwal,World Badminton Championships,Nozomi Okuhara
India's Saina Nehwal in action against Japan's Nozomi Okuhara at the World Badminton Championships.(REUTERS)

Saina Nehwal complained about scheduling at the World Badminton Championships after losing her women’s singles semi-final to Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in Glasgow on Saturday. (HIGHLIGHTS)

The former World No.1 settled for a bronze after going down 21-12, 17-21, 10-21 in an hour and 14 minutes at the Emirates Arena.

“Clearly when you play tough matches, it is tiring. I thought we would play in the second session but scheduling was kept like that. (It is) surprising because we do not have enough time to recover and take the necessary steps because I just could not. I just slept,” the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist said after her loss.

READ | Saina Nehwal loses to Nozomi Okuhara in World Badminton Championships semis

Saina, who won silver at the 2015 Worlds, had played a marathon match on Friday when she defeated local player Kirsty Gilmour in a match that lasted an hour and 14 minutes. It was played in the evening session.

However, she was back on Saturday, but this time in the morning session.

“Well it is okay because it is the same thing with her (Nozomi), so no excuse for that. I also got tired because of the match yesterday which was quite tough. She (Kirsty Gilmour) was hitting good smashes for which I had to bend a lot; that way it was quite tough for me,” added Saina.

Commenting on the semi-final, the Hyderabadi said that she tried her best but her opponent proved better on the day.

READ | PV Sindhu ‘prepared for semis’ at World Badminton Championships

“The only thing that changed between the second and third game was that she started picking those difficult shots and started taking the game longer. I tried my level best to push my pace and play longer rallies but she was comfortable and pretty good today,” added the World No.16.

“I am happy I am playing well and coming back. I could have pushed a little more today but she was everywhere. In the third game, I was confused and when you do not have an idea where to play, then you start making errors and she took a big lead. I tried to come back but it was quite late.”

Rio 2016

Earlier, Saina admitted she should not have gone to Rio Olympics in 2016 where she suffered a shock second round exit and aggravated her injury, forcing her out of the circuit for several months.

“Only I know what I went through. I shouldn’t have gone to Rio. I didn’t know I had a major injury. The belief of my parents and coach helped me get back. I still have tendonitis in the (right) knee,” Saina said.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 22:59 IST