New Delhi, July 04: She is inching closer to being among the world's top five and is tipped to be number one in the next couple of years but ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal says being numero uno is still a very distant dream.
The legendary Prakash Padukone considers Saina talented enough to be at the top in the next two years but the 20-year-old doesn't want to aim so high right now.
"Prakash sir has been very encouraging, I also want to be the number one but I don't want to think about that now. I would have to be at my best to achieve that. I have to be consistent and win back-to-back tournament," Saina said after going up a rung to sixth in the latest world rankings.
She has become the first Indian woman and third overall, after Pullela Gopichand and Padukone, to achieve such a ranking.
"Once I crack the top-five, I will set my eyes on the top three and then may be with time, the number one target will come. But it is too distant a dream right now and so I think I should concentrate more on my game," the Hyderabadi added.
The Indonesian Open champion said she is in good form and wants to beat higher-ranked rivals more often to boost her confidence.
"I am playing very well now and wining matches. I am happy that I reached the sixth spot but my main focus is to play more top ranked players and beat them. Once I do that consistently, the ranking will automatically go up," Saina said.
Saina would be seeded at the World Badminton Championship in Hyderabad next month and the star shuttler said she expects to get a good draw.
"The ranking is important now because the World Badminton Championship is just a month away and with this ranking, I will be seeded now and I hope to get a good draw.”
"So this is one plus point but then there are many players outside the top-10 who are really good and I have to beat them to do well in the tournament," said Saina, who will start training from Monday.
After her win in the Indonesian Open, Saina has been compared with Gopichand and Padukone but the Hyderabadi girl says it is unfair to bracket her with such legends of the game.
"Gopi sir and Prakash Sir are the legends of the game. They have achieved so much in life and I have just started off. So comparing me with them is unfair.”
"I have learnt a lot from both of them and I feel really encouraged by their words. I would also like to reach such heights in life and achieve much more," she said.