Media hype after winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal might have affected the Saina Nehwal's performance in last month's Asian Games in Guangzhou and led to her early exit, according to badminton legend Prakash Padukone.
"My advice is not to put too much pressure on Saina who has got all the attributes of a top player. Perhaps the media pressure affected her during the Asian Games," said the former All England champion.
Saina went into the Asian Games with her confidence on a high after winning the India Open, Singapore Open, the Indonesian Open and the Commonwealth Games singles titles.
But, seeded number two, Saina lost in the quarter-finals of the Asian Games against Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong. She, however, avenged her defeat last week by beating the same opponent in the Hong Kong Super Series semi-final.
In the final, Saina beat Asian Games gold medallist Wang Shixian to cap a memorable year.
Prakash expressed concern that unnecessary media hype could affect her at the 2012 Olympic Games in London too.
"If media hype continues it can affect her in the Olympics too. Let her play her natural game," he added.