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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Patience, calm attitude made the difference: Saina

NEW DELHI: Elated after lifting her second title of the year, Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal on Sunday said that patience and a newly-acquired calm demeanour made all the difference in her Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold triumph in Bangkok.

Saina Nehwal

The 22-year-old world number five, who had defended the Swiss Open in March, rallied to defeat Thailand’s Ratchanok Inthanon 19-21, 21-15, 21-10, to lift her maiden Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold title on Sunday.”Overall, I am very happy with my performance because I was more relaxed and calm during the matches and it worked for me,” Saina said from Bangkok.”There are times when I am under pressure and get irritated but in this tournament even when I was lagging, I was very patient. I didn’t commit easy mistakes, I played long rallies and had some good smashes and also my net play was good,” she added.Saina did not face any top-ranked Chinese in the event but she said it still was a tough field to battle against.”I am very happy to win this title. It was not easy but I played well in a lot of tough matches but it was a good win to have before the Indonesia Super Series,” she said referring to next week’s event.”It was a very good match practice and a right way to start the preparation for Olympics. It is tough to compete at the highest level. After Indonesia, (national coach Pullela Gopichand) Gopi sir will draw up my training schedule for the Olympics and this win is for him and my family and supporters who have been there for me.”Saina said there are areas in her game that she needs to work on but as of now, she is focussed on the tournaments ahead.”No player is perfect so there are some areas where I have to work on but the next event is just a few days away, so can’t do much about it,” she explained.”Indonesia would be very tough, I am playing (Shoji) Sato from Japan in the first round and all the Chinese would also be there. I am leaving for Indonesia tomorrow and my matches start from Wednesday,” she said.”I won’t get much time to acclimatise but it depends on that particular day and how you are feeling. I can’t promise a title but I can promise to give my best,” she added.On whether the Thailand Open triumph would boost her confidence ahead of Olympics, Saina said, “…it is really good to win but my confidence was never down. It is a different tournament and in all the matches that I have played I have never lost hope of winning.”In this event also there were two-three matches in which I was down and I came back and this attitude has helped me. I was never tense,” she said.

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