Pune: India’s badminton star Saina Nehwal feels she can beat the world’s best after her recent success at the international stage and is aiming to become World No 1 by 2010.
Saina, who is currently ranked No 10, said she will be looking to climb five places by the end of this year.
“I have always dreamt of becoming World No 1. I have been working very hard to fulfil my dream. If all goes well I will aim to reach the top of the ranking by the year 2010,” Saina said here Wednesday.
The top Indian ace is here to participate in the PSPB Inter-unit badminton tournament.
“I have been working quite hard to improve on my weak points.”
“The foreign exposures helped me to study the strong and weak points of the top five players and how to counter them. I have started to feel a perfect player,” said Saina, who shot to fame in Olympics and then went on to crack the top-10 in rankings with impressive performances in Super Series events.
“Mentally, I an quite strong now and playing an attacking game, concentrating on improvement in drop shots and on rallies. I am looking forward to the forthcoming All England Championship in March 2009 and the Swiss Open to follow thereafter,” Saina said.
Asked about the junior players particularly Sikki Reddy, Aditya Prakash and SaiGuru Dutt who are doing well at international stage, Saina said: “All they need is more foreign exposures to help gain confidence.”
Saina said that suddenly a lot of players from India are in the top 100 in the world and there is sense of pride and acceptability at the international level.
“More and more people are now following the game and many youngsters are taking to badminton, which is good for the country. It is not a fluke but the players are coming out of a well oiled mechanism,” she said.
The PSPB tournament will have 108 players from nine oil companies competing.