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Saina has already achieved targets for 2010: Gopichand (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 28 June 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 814

With a hat-trick of international titles and a career-best world ranking of number three, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has already achieved the targets that she had set for 2010, a jubilant national coach Pullela Gopichand said on Sunday.Sainal Nehwal


"We had set a target of reaching into top five by this year end. She has achieved this within six months," Gopichand, who has mentored Saina through her career said.
Gopichand, only the second Indian to win the All England  badminton championship, though insisted that his ward was not chasing the number one ranking and has set her sights on major international tournaments for 2010.


"We have three major tournaments lined up this year. Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championship. Our aim is concentrate on these tournaments. So the number one ranking comes next," Gopichand said.


Saina defeated Japan's Sayaki Sato 21-19, 13-21, 21-11 in the summit clash of the Indonesia Open to complete a hat-trick of international titles.
He said winning three tournaments continuously is a great achievement for any player.


"It was possible for Saina because of the great performance she has shown."


Saina's father Harvir Singh said his daughter has made the country proud.


"This is really a fantastic win for Saina and the country. We were nervous in the second game. I know she had the determination. She made us and the country proud," Harvir Singh Nehwal said.

 
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Lee defends champion in MS of Indonesia Open

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 28 June 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 1193

Indonesian Mens' Single (MS) shuttler was apparently no match against Malaysian No.1 shuttler, the defending champion, Lee Chong Wei as the latter crushed Taufik, seeded No.2, in two easy games lasted in 37 minutes with scores of 21-19, 21-8 in the final match of MS group Indonesia Open tournament held here on Sunday.

Competing in the last final match, the Malaysian shuttler dominating the games with his full force smashes and smart drop shots that made Taufik hardly able to return the ball. In the second game, Lee did not give Taufik a chance to breathe and ended the game in 21-8.

The 28 year-old Lee received 18,750 U.S. dollars reward for his championship in the tournament, while Taufik received 9,500 U.S. dollars in reward. The organizer provides a total of 250,000 U.S. dollars rewards for the achieving shuttlers contending in the tournament.

During his heyday in badminton sport, since 1999 Taufik had won six times in Indonesia Open tournament that began in 1982. His last championship in the annual tournament was in 2006.

As for Lee, his latest win against the 29 year-old Taufik was the second consecutive time in the championship. Lee qualified to final match after trashed No.7 shuttler Sony Dwi Kuncoro from Indonesia.

 
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India Open: Mohd Hafiz Hashim set for last hurrah

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 09 June 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 1223

At 28, Mohd Hafiz Hashim feels he still has something left in the tank to entertain medal hopes at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Since winning the All-England badminton title in 2003 at the age of 21, Hashim failed to remain at that level as his game tapered off, but the fire is very much in his eyes as he hopes to give it all one more shot.

 

Here for the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Grand Prix (Gold) tournament which began Wednesday, Hashim, seeded second behind India's Chetan Anand, has his sights firmly set on the Olympics, although he will be a ripe 30 by then.

 

'My target is the 2012 Olympics. I know I will be 30 then, but my experience will be an advantage and if I can maintain my fitness level, I can do well in London,' said the 21st-ranked Hashim in a chat with IANS.

 

Leading the Malaysian challenge at the India Open, Hashim admitted that there were a lot of youngsters coming up through the ranks.

 
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Saina, Chetan sail into third round on a day of upsets

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 09 June 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 1496

Chennai, June 9 (IANS) It was a virtual colour fall at the indoor stadium here as seeded players descended to the ground like autumn leaves on the opening day of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Grand Prix (gold) badminton tournament Wednesday.

First to exit was fourth seeded Maja Tvrdy of Slovenia, followed by India's Trupti Murgunde (7) and Aditi Mutatkar (5), and Mingtian Fu of Singapore (5) in the women's singles.

Later in the afternoon, fifth seed Anup Sridhar of India fell to Indonesian Yusuf Alamsyah as the bloodbath continued unabated.

However, top seeds Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal saved the blushes with fluent wins in their respective second round matches, having drawn a bye. Saina beat Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka 21-7, 21-10 while Chetan trounced Mohit Kamat 21-8, 21-8.

India's P.C. Thulasi, runner-up at the national championship, was the most impressive among the giant-slayers as she knocked out Tvrdy in three games to advance to the second round of the women's singles.

Thulasi, only 18 and hailing from Thrissur, Kerala, lost the first game, but her superior fitness helped her to surge back as she drew Tvrdy into long rallies and thus tiring out the Slovenian who had little to offer in the decider.

"This is my second year in the senior category and the biggest win of my career. I had been working hard for the past three weeks for this tournament under coach Pullela Gopichand," Thulasi said.

"After losing the first game due to some simple mistakes, I maintained the pace in the next two to win. This is a good chance for me to improve my ranking by gaining crucial points as top international players are not in the fray," she added.

"I have been training at Hyderabad for the last three years in the national camp. I now need to improve my strength and stamina," said Thulasi.

Murugunde seemed to run out of steam as she lost 15-21, 15-21, to Singapore's Gu Juan while Aprilia Yuswandari brought some cheer to Indonesian camp as she ousted Fun 21-13, 22-20.

The results (prefix denotes seeding):

 
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India Open: Time Indian badminton stars performed at home

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 09 June 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 857

 Seven times All-England champion Erland Kops had once remarked that there was no home ground for a champion and India's best hope, Saina Nehwal would do well to bear this in mind ahead of the $120,000 Yonex-Sunrise India Open Grand Prix commencing here Tuesday with qualifying rounds in women's singles.

For all her achievements, including attaining No.6 World ranking, Saina is yet to come good on home courts in a major international event. She had her chances last during the Indian Open and the World championships, but couldn't quite ascend the top step of the podium.

Kops' statement was in the context of a true champion having to perform and win be it at a hostile foreign venue or on a friendly home court. 'For a champion, there is nothing called a home ground. You need to perform against any opposition and in any condition. That is the hallmark of a true champion,' the legendary Dane had said.

Saina's major home success was at the Syed Modi Indian Grand Prix in December last, but faced no opposition and defeated compatriot Aditi Mutatkar, who is seeded third this time, in the final.

Going into the Grand Prix this week, Saina will be again under pressure to deliver in front of a home crowd that would be rooting for the top seed and also her counterpart Chetan Anand who heads the men's singles field.

 

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