Saina all set for World Championship opener today

Paris: She might be in red-hot form after her recent title wins but ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal feels past record won`t matter when she begins her campaign in the World Badminton Championship.

"In a world championship, all the games are close. The atmosphere is electric and it really doesn`t matter how many tournaments you win in the run-up as every player wants to win. And as you climb the rankings, each and every player wants to beat you," said the world number two Indian.

Saina will meet Chinese Taipei`s Hsiao Huan Chen in the second round after both the players were awarded a bye in the opening round at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium here.

It`s been an envious graph for Saina since she broke into the world Top-10. In 2010, Sania has played 34 matches and won 29. Her five losses have come against a major of Chinese opponents.

"I don`t think we should read too much into the Chinese domination," she said.

"Hard work and self belief have been two things that have helped me and players like Tine Rasmussen (now Baum) to break into the top ten and play competitive badminton against the Chinese," she added.

Saina is coming off a hot streak of winning three championships in a row -- the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold, Singapore and Indonesia Super Series.

Against Chinese Taipei`s Hsiao Huan Chen, Saina is two up in the head-to-head clashes. In 2009, she played Huan Chen in the Malaysia Super series and won 21-16, 19-21 and 21-19.

The second meeting wasn`t a close game as the Indian steamrolled her 21-15, 21-14 in the Uber Cup.

Hsien`s record in 2010 overall has been poor. The Chinese Taipei player ranked 65th in the world has played 19 matches, won seven and lost 12.

Hsien is known for her net play and sometimes during the middle games gets aggressive with a series of smashes.

However, even England`s number one singles player Rajiv Ouseph believes it would be an uphill task for Hsien to beat the Indian.

"Yes, a few players down the rankings do fancy their chances against Sania but I don`t think it`s that easy to stop her. I have seen her in few tournaments and she has a tremendous self-belief in her play. For Hsien to beat Sania will take more than just a few smashes. And by the time she figures that out, the match could be over," he said.


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