Saina Nehwal’s presence always brings hype and glitz to a badminton event, and she seems to enjoy it.
But, here in Lucknow for the Syed Modi International Grand Prix tournament, the World No. 7 is keeping herself focussed on the task at hand and working on a new plan to improve her game. Saina’s attention now is on improving her defence as it has let her down a number of times at the international level.
“Though I am good at the nets, I sometimes feel my defence is weak,’’ Saina told Hindustan Times after finishing her workout with fellow shuttler P. Kashyap on Tuesday.
“The 2010 Commonwealth Games now tops my agenda, although I have also set other goals like doing well in the Asian Games (at Guangzhou) and the (2012) Olympic Games. I know I have to work hard and also guard against injuries,” she added.
“I have to overcome my weaknesses as the next few years are very important,” said Saina, the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament this year.
Appreciating the support she has received from the masses, Saina said that it was a good sign as corporate houses and government were lending support to badminton players.
She, however, emphasised the need for establishing badminton academies in the north much like the centres in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
“Northern India has good talent but there is no proper training centre for badminton, tennis and table tennis.”
The only Indian woman to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Olympic Games, Saina’s advise to the young generation is to take up badminton seriously.