New Delhi – India’s top badminton player Saina Nehwal Saturday said a good performance in the upcoming India Open will boost her chances for a medal at the London Olympics though her draw in the Super Series event, she admitted, was “very tough”.
Saina, who lost in the first round of the 2011 India Open, starts her campaign against Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong in the event beginning April 24 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.
“It is a really tough draw. It is difficult to say how I am going to fare. It is one of the few tournaments I play in ahead of the Olympics, so a good show here will definitely give me confidence going into the Olympics,” said Saina before leaving with the Indian contingent for the Asia Championships starting Monday in Shandong, China.
Saina’s main challenge at the London Games will be against the Chinese World No.3 Wang Shixian and World No.4 Li Xuerui, who she will be facing in the Asian as well as the Indian event.
The World No.5 is drawn against Denmark’s Tine Baun in the India Open quarters and will most likely meet the mighty Chinese in the semis and the finals.
“It will good to play against some of the best players as I will get to know how much I have improved after making certain changes in my game,” said Saina, who has lost five kilos with the motive of improving her speed and reflexes on the court.
Talking more about her game, Saina said she needed to improve her net play.
“I have a good power game but against the Chinese you also need to indulge in long rallies and retrieve a lot from the net. I am working with Gopi sir (Pullela Gopichand) specifically on these areas.”
The Indian also stressed on the importance of staying relaxed ahead of the Olympics.
“The Olympics is the only thing on my mind and thinking about it gives me a lot of pressure. So, I am trying to stay as calm as I can mentally. Even on the court, I need to patient and not hurry up points,” she added.
Saina intends to play in four tournaments before the July-August Olympics.