Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal has stated that match practice was key after being ousted from the Denmark Open on Wednesday (October 20). Saina Nehwal lost her first-round match to Japan's Aya Ohori 16-21, 14-21 in just 34 minutes.
Incidentally, it was her first match against Aya Ohori in her career.
Speaking to the BWF and journalists after her exit from the Denmark Open, Saina Nehwal introspected on her loss and said she was happy to be back on the courts. She added:
"I am happy, I started playing. It is a good feeling when you want to play a match. I had to retire earlier (in the Uber Cup) because of a niggle. It was not an injury, it was some pain that had been there for years. That (recovery from the niggle) was taking a little bit of time. I am happy to put in a lot of effort and play here."
Saina Nehwal said that if she had won two or three more points in the first game, she could have turned it around. However, that was not to be the case as she failed to get going and lost the game on a whimper.
"In the first game, if i had won two or three more points, I could have turned it around. However, she is a better player and it is clear that I have to work hard to get good results."
I would love to play more: Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal has been plagued by injuries and niggles throughout her career, which have played spoilsport in big ticket events. However, the ace Indian shuttler has taken them in her stride and continues to work hard to be a player to be reckoned with.
Speaking about getting back to competitive matches, Saina Nehwal said the loss in the Denmark Open boils down to being consistent and in the technical aspects of her game. She said:
"I think I have only played two sessions before coming here. Had I played around 10 sessions, things could have been different. At the moment, I feel, it (the loss) is about technical difference. I was committing more errors on the court while she (Ohori) was being consistent on court."
As for always staying motivated, Saina Nehwal said the key is to get back in shape and also get maximum match practice under her belt. She explained:
"I forgot how to play in drift courts. It felt so fast and I was trying to correct my shots and get my rhythm. The last match I played was in March. I was quite rigid in the start, but they (the opponents) played a couple of more matches than me and were prepared well."
"I would love to play more. I want to see how my fitness is. Match practice and getting back in shape is very important. I have to see how I get to manage the tournaments in Bali and the World Championships. They all look very close now."