‘Aiming for no.1’

Saina’s comments after winning the final Super Series of the year:

On the number one ranking:
I will be happy if I finish the year with No.1 ranking. I don’t know yet what the system is and how it is going to happen. I think this year I will be remaining at world No.3 or No.4 but winning this tournament is like becoming world No.1 for me. So it’s ok. I will achieve it this year or next year. I mean, all players want to become world No.1 and I have the same dream. Let’s see when I will achieve it.

On the year 2010:
It has been a dream year for me. I played five Super Series out of 12 and really happy that I did well in three of them and lost in the semifinals in one of them. Also winning the Commonwealth Gold was a memorable one.

Recognition in India:
I’m happy with the Padma Shri and Khel Ratna award. What else does a player need? I would like thank Gopi and Bhaskar Babu sir. They worked hard for this.

On the Hong Kong Open final:
I was very relaxed during the whole tournament. I had worked very hard for the Asian Games, and I was very disappointed that I hadn’t done well. But I wasn’t depressed. It was important to do well at Hong Kong and finish the year well.
I don’t know what happened at the Asian Games. Sometimes, when you’re tense, you don’t know what happens. Yip was lucky that day, she was playing very well at the net, and I was a bit defensive. At Hong Kong, I was ready. I played a lot of drop shots, I was aggressive. In the final I wasn’t tense at all. In the first game I was on the faster side, and I was sure I would do well in the second. I wanted a lead early in the third from the faster side, and it worked out. Mentally, I was very good, and in rhythm. When I’m like that, I’m hard to beat.
I have a feeling that I do have an upper-hand whenever I face a Chinese in the final of a major event. Definitely, I am no scared about taking on these Chinese girls. If only I play as perfectly as I did in the Hong Kong Open right through, then I have every chance of winning some more big Super Series titles.

Her goals next year:
My aim is to win a Olympics medal and I will be happy if I win the World Championships as well, also all the Super Series.

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About badmintonmania

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the Indian in Thoreau's Walden who makes cane baskets and is surprised nobody wants them. A. was talking about discipline when she said: "But Dev, if you want to move ahead in life, you'll have to be like that," and she may as well have defined everything else for me. I've played the low percentage game for too long to believe there's anything in it but the romance; the odds keep getting jacked up higher and higher; and you may be a good Idealist but a worse Fool.
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