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.
Saina won back-to-back titles in Thailand and Indonesia to send out a warning to other leading players that she will be the player to beat in next month’s Games.
“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 in an interview here.
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,” Saina said.
“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.
“Every player at this point of time fights for each point. I also want to be one of them. I am happy that I did well in these two tournaments,” she said.
The world number five Indian also expressed happiness over her fitness as she most of the matches were physically very taxing.
“It is very tiring. Not only that match,the whole tournament was very tiring. Each day I was playing for one hour,one hour 40 minutes,and I am happy that I recovered well from such tough victories,” Saina said.
“They were putting my matches at the last because people wanted to see my matches. So,my matches were getting late around 11 or 12 in the night. I am happy that I recovered well,in spite of such long matches,” she added.
Saina she needs to mainatain the high fitness levels since women’s singles has become physically demanding.
“I have to maintain fitness. Women’s singles is getting very tough. It is getting long. It is getting very tiring. I have to be ready for the long rallies,play more and more strokes and also be very confident about getting the points. Because,every girl is fighting for each and every point,” she said.
“I was surprised to see that Chinese girl running for one hour 40 minutes without leaving that single point. I can see that the competition has become really high and I have to be ready for each and every match,” she said.
Saina said her mentor and chief coach P Gopichand would prepare a training schedule for the five weeks in the run-up to the Olympics.
“We will be starting tomorrow. We have five weeks. A good training schedule will be decided by Gopi sir. He is in Singapore now. Once he returns,we will start. I am sure it will be very special and very difficult because of Olympics,” she said.