HYDERABAD holds fond memories for Indonesia Open champion Saina Nehwal as it was there that she first picked up a badminton racquet as an eight-year-old.
And it is in Hyderabad where Saina, 19, will be hoping to bag India’s first ever women’s singles title in the World Championships on Aug 10-16.
Saina has been unbeatable in India having won two titles last year including the girls’ singles of the World Junior Championships in Pune, and this makes her a strong contender for the world title.
Saina, coached by former All England champion P. Gopichand, said she will prepare well for Hyderabad.
"It will be a dream come true to win a title in Hyderabad. I’m going to train hard for it. I will have home ground advantage which gives me a head start," said Saina in Johor Baru yesterday.
"However, winning a world title is not easy and I will have to prepare and condition well for it."
Saina, the World No 8, made history by bagging her country’s first Super Series title last week in Indonesia where she beat China’s Wang Lin, the World No 3.
"It’s a great achievement for me and it has come at the right time. The victory has given me the boost and confidence to train harder and give my best shot at the world meet.
"China’s players are not as invincible as before and the women’s singles at the world meet, I strongly feel, will be an open affair. It’s just a matter of who prepares best for it," added Saina, who has won 11 career titles since competing in tournaments in 2003.
Saina is competing in the Yonex-Sunrise Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold at the Johor Baru City Council Stadium, and the second seed opens her campaign against Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk today.