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Saina to celebrate No 1 status with ice cream and milk shake

Source: PTI
March 30, 2015 12:38 IST
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India's Saina Nehwal signs autographs after her win against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in India Open Super series badminton. Photograph: PTI

Relieved to have won her maiden India Open Super Series title, Saina Nehwal said it is a huge burden off her head as she has always struggled to win this tournament.

"I think a big burden off my head. Last four years, I was struggling, losing in pre-quarters or quarters, this is the first time I have reached the finals and won it. So too many surprises for me in this tournament, being the world no 1, winning the title.

"I am very proud of myself. I never thought this day will come after so much struggle, this is the best phase of my life," Saina said after beating former world campion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16,21-14 in the summit clash at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.

‘I hope to win more and more titles’

Saina Nehwal with her mother. Photograph: Saina Nehwal on Twitter

Explaining further, Saina said: "I think the consistency with which I am playing is great. I reached three finals in last two months and it is not easy. My shoulder is taped, so it is obviously difficult playing against top players."

When quizzed about the future, Saina said: "Titles makes me hungry. Next I hope to win more and more titles, I hope to be fit and injury free. This result will motivate me to win more titles."

Talking about the final, Saina said: "It was a tough match. Ratchanok is one player who always gives me a tough fight whenever I play her. Last time when I played her in the Asian Games, it was a long and close match, so it is always difficult to play her as she is very deceptive and she has got some tricky shots.

"But the way I was moving today, I was picking all her tricky strokes and she was not liking it, so she made a lot of errors.

"She gets tensed when you pick her strokes. But I can see she has improved a lot. She is playing well and coming back to form. I was expecting a tough final and it was a good final. I was surprised to see so many spectators today. It was lovely crowd. It was really a fantastic match today," she said.

‘I have to attack as I am an attacking player’

Saina Nehwal celebrates her win. Photograph: PTI

Asked if she felt like the world no 1 when she walked on to the court, Saina said: "I was only thinking about the final, world number one was not in my mind. I guess I will have to see my name in the ranking list next Thursday."

On her celebration plans, the 25-year-old said: "I will have ice cream, milk shake, chocolate, I will have everything today. I will rest tomorrow and then day after I will be back to practice before taking a flight to Malaysia."

Analysing Intanon's game, Saina said: "I feel she is very good player from behind. She has got some tricky shots from behind and I get caught up with those strokes. She is good at the nets but so am I."

Saina, who had clinched the 2010 Commonwealth Games title at the same venue, said she was surprised by her flawless game and happy that she could change her tactics according to the match situation.

"Everything was there today. From yesterday I played much better today. Of course, it was against a tougher opponent but I didn't expect to beat her in straight games, so easily.

"In the second game, the way I started, I was surprised by myself that how come the shots are falling so sharply.  I have to attack as I am an attacking player and a rally player as well, so I have to keep changing my game according to the situations," she said.

‘I beat her in straight games, last time it was a tough much’

Saina Nehwal. Photograph: PTI

Saina said the way she played today it has boosted her confidence and proved that she is improving each day.

"I beat her in straight games, last time it was a tough much, so this shows that I am improving. I am able to beat top players, I am going good. When you win you feel confident but when you lose you again kind of go back and work on it, may be I made some mistakes today so I have to work on them," she said.

"It is good that in last three months, I have reached finals, which means I am learning. I am not taking any tournament easily. Every tournament is difficult and every one will be prepared for me and I will have to play them many times in future, so I have to ready everytime," Saina said.

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