`I want to be World Champion before attaining No 1 status`

Updated: Jul 15, 2010, 20:55 PM IST

New Delhi: She is just a step away from
becoming the world number one but ace shuttler Saina Nehwal
said she wants to win next month`s World Championship in Paris
before attaining the numero uno status.

Saina, who jumped one place to a career-best second in
the latest international badminton rankings for women, said
ranking is not her priority and she prefers to win more titles
than chasing the number one status.

"It is a dream come true. I never expected to reach
number two so early. But before I achieve the number one
status I want to become the World Champion," said Saina, who
is just 1200 points away from Chinese Yihan Wang.

"The last three wins have really helped me. It is a great
feeling but I feel my priority still will be to win more
titles rather than focusing on ranking," she added.

The 20-year-old Indian made a meteoric rise following her
back-to-back title triumphs at the India Open Grand Prix and
the Singapore Open Super Series and claimed the world number
three status last month.

If that was not enough, she also defended her Indonesian
Open Super Series crown to complete a hat-trick of titles and
jumping to the second place in the rankings was just a matter
of time.

Saina, who now has 64791.2637 points, will be seen in
action at the World badminton Championship in Paris next month
and the Hyderabadi admits that her present status will add to
her pressure in the event.

"It is a very big ranking for me. There will be pressure
on me being the number 2 but I don`t want to think about that.
It will be a tough tournament and in a way its good that I
achieved the ranking before the World Championship," she said.

"I am confident I can do well there. My strategy would be
to work hard, train harder, stay fit and give my best," Saina
added.

After the World Championship, Saina will carry India`s
hopes in the Commonwealth Games and the shuttler said she will
work on her fitness and strokes to be in her peak form in the
October 3-14 event.

"I am happy with my fitness but for the Commonwealth
Games I will have to push my fitness further and work on my
strokes. There is still time and all players have to be really
fit to do well in the tournament," she said.

PTI

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