Hyderabad: Her eyes trained on the Chinese, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Tuesday revealed that long before winning the recently-held Swiss Open, she had to endure a difficult phase which, at times, even made her weep.
World number five Saina broke a prolonged title drought, beating third-ranked Shixian Wang of China 21-19 21-16 in a thrilling 48-minute contest, which helped her defend the women`s singles title in Basel, Switzerland. But all was not hunky dory prior to that triumph.
"It was really painful. I had to listen (to) a lot of things... cried a lot and it was a tough phase for me. (I had to endure) lot of pains, lot of injuries to get that confidence back," Saina said.
Things seemed to be improving post the Super Series final last December.
"It was a challenge for me, we tried our best and the results have started coming from December. I played well in Super Series final. I am happy that I have come back stronger. I just pray to God that I stay injury-free and be ready for Olympics."
The Beijing Olympics quarter-finalist is aware of the challenges the Chinese could pose, especially, at the quadrennial extravaganza in London.
"I think I have to make a lot of changes (to my game). I know where the Chinese players are catching me. I know where I have to change and how to become quicker on court.
"I need to be ready for strokes where they are catching me. They must have found where they can catch me. I need to work hard, work on areas (to improve my game)."
Saina said her preparation for the London Olympics is on the right track.
"I think the preparations are on the right mode, we are catching some of the mistakes I was making. The important part is to stay calm and relax. I was feeling a lot of pressure... because of the Olympics it happens.
"Gopi Sir changed (the approach towards training) a lot. He said `mentally you have to be strong, you have to believe in yourself, stay calm on the court`."
"I think that (Gopi`s tips) helped a lot. I was relaxed you can see that change. I felt it was an easy tournament for me." Talking about the Swiss Open triumph, Saina said she peaked at the right time.
"I am happy that I peaked at the right time and won such a big tournament. I am looking forward to the Olympics but before that there are a lot of tournaments.
"I want to play against all the top players in the world, want to get a lot more confidence and be ready for the Olympics."
Saina hoped to do well in the Asian Championship and the Indian Open in May.