China Open is one of the toughest tournaments to win: Saina Nehwal

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal recently added another trophy to her overcrowded cabinet when she won the China Open. Saina won her third title of the year by defeating Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-12, 22-20 in the women's singles finals which lasted 42 minutes at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center.

Updated: Nov 26, 2014, 23:32 PM IST
PlayChina Open is one of the toughest tournaments to win: Saina Nehwal

New Delhi: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal recently added another trophy to her overcrowded cabinet when she won the China Open. Saina won her third title of the year by defeating Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-12, 22-20 in the women's singles finals which lasted 42 minutes at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center.

In an exclusive chat with Aditi Avasthi of Zee Media, Saina said that the tournament is one of the toughest tourments to play and she is extremely happy to become the first Indian to win it.

Excerpts from the conversation:

We would like to know about your fitness. In the last few months, several questions have been raised over your fitness and some people even said that your golden days are over.

When I started playing badminton, I did so because I enjoyed it. I had no idea that one day I would become World No. 2 and would achieve so much. People need not talk so much about me as I am a player who works very hard and my aim has always been to focus on my game. I too came to hear a lot about myself. I don't think this year was that bad for me. I have won three titles this year and have played in most of the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. I agree that I felt really bad last year where I did not win any title. I was facing several problems. I suffered a toe fracture as a result of which I had to rest for six to seven weeks and it takes some time to get back the momentum. In badminton, there are several tournaments. So the time to train is very less and everybody is bothered about their rankings as well.

Talking about China Open, your win obviously was a crucial one, but considering your preparations for the next Olympics, how important was that win for you?

See, Olympics is a different event. China Open is an event which is somewhat similar to the Olympics. Several tough players participate in it which includes top three Chinese players. To play on their court is very challenging because it's very slow. The amount of energy we have to put in is also huge. China Open is one of the toughest competitions to win in a year because the competition is very very high. I think in the last so many years, apart from the Chinese, nobody else has won the tournament. Being the first Indian to win it, I am very happy. I hope this will give me more confidence to do well in future tournaments.

For any sportsperson, encouragement is something which is of utmost importance. How did you feel after you were congratulated by the Prime Minister, the Sports Minister post your China Open triumph?

I would like to thank Prime Minister Modi Sir, I would like to thank the President of India, also the Sports Minister of India. They all congratulated me and several other people also congratulated me. It gives me immense confidence to know that the entire country is following my performances. I hope I can continue to bring more medals for my country.

Sometime back, there was some controversy related to the pending money which you were supposed to get from the government. Have you received that money now?

Yes. I would like to thank the Telangana government that they immediately looked into the issue and solved my problem. The money was pending since last year, and the issue was related to the previous government, but I am very thankful to KCR sir who has supported sportspersons a lot ever since he has come to power. He has looked after their issues and I am thankful to him as I received my pending money as well.