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Saina gunning for No 1 ranking by year-end

Last updated on: July 1, 2010 16:38 IST

'I would love to reach No 1 by this year-end'

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Way ahead of the targets she set herself for 2010, Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal is now aiming for the world number one ranking by the end of this year.

"I wanted to be in the top-five bracket by this year-end, but I have already reached the number three ranking. I reached my targets very fast in my career. So number one is also not far. I would love to reach there by this year-end," Saina said on the sidelines of a felicitation function by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in Delhi on Thursday.

"This year my aim is to do well in the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and also the Asian Games. I have to put in a lot of hard work and I am confident of doing well," she added.


Image: Saina Nehwal
Photographs: Reuters
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'I will not allow success to go to my head'

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Saina won a hat-trick of titles -- the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold and the Singapore Open Super Series before defending the Indonesian Open Super Series in Jakarta recently but the 20-year-old said she would not let success go to her head.

"It was not easy winning 15 matches on the trot but I did it and I am happy to get all this media attention, but I will not allow success to go to my head and will stay focused," Saina said.


Image: Saina after winning the Indonesian Open

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'My mother told me to think I am Roger Federer of badminton'

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The Hyderabadi dreams of winning the Olympic gold and she will go for it in the 2012 London Games.

"My dad wanted me to be a doctor but I chose badminton. He told me 'do whatever you want but give your 100 per cent'.

"In 2008, he wanted me to win an Olympic medal but I couldn't. It's a dream to win that in 2012," she said.

Saina credited her success to her parents.

"I am proud of my parents. They never compromised on my racquet or shuttles, which are so expensive. I never realized their sacrifices then; now I know about the loans that my father used to take so that I could pursue badminton," she said.

"My mother is very strong. She always used to tell me that I should think I am Roger Federer of badminton and never be afraid and it has helped me a lot in my career. I never get bogged down by the ranking of my opponent," she added.


Image: Saina Nehwal in action

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