Familiar conditions in Jakarta will boost Saina Nehwal’s chances: Coach

first_imgCome next week and Saina Nehwal would be chasing the elusive World Championship title at one of her favourite hunting grounds, Jakarta, Indonesia, from August 10-16. The elite event has been a disappointment for Saina so far as she has stumbled at the quarter-finals five times.She, though, has plenty of good memories of Indonesia where she won her first Super Series title in 2009 and held the crowns again in 2010 and 2012. It is the only Super Series title she has won three times. She enjoys playing in the arena, and in front of a vocal and supportive crowd which has seen a young Saina slay top Chinese girls and emerge a star in world badminton.Coach Vimal Kumar rates Saina as a “strong contender” for the title and feels early adjustment to conditions will be the key to success. “I think adjusting to the conditions in Indonesia is going to be the key- the arena, the strong drift and the crowd- and whoever does it quickly will dominate,” Vimal told Mail Today.”Saina is one of the strongest contenders for the title but it is not going to be easy. Every match will be tough but if she plays to her potential, she can do it. Indonesia is one her favourite places and she likes the conditions there. She did well there in 2009 and 2010 but that was sometime back. Physically and technically she looks good. Saina has trained well and put in good effort in training.”Saina will definitely back herself, having enjoyed a good run this year that saw her cross a major hurdle in winning the India Open Super Series title, reach the final of All England Open, and above all making it to the summit of world rankings (No.1). Her reign at the top, however, lasted five weeks before being surpassed by Spanish sensation Carolina Marin, who is also the current world No.1 and All England champion. In fact, Marin and Saina, currently ranked No.1 and No.2 in rankings, have developed a keen rivalry.advertisementWith Chinese top three Li Xuerui (World No 3), Wang Yihan (World No.6) and Wang Shixian (World No. 7) losing their dominating grip this season, Vimal reckons it will be an interesting affair at the worlds. “After the Asian Games, the Chinese have not done that well and Saina, Carolina Marin, Ratchanok Intanon and Tai Tzu Ying have won majority of the Super Series titles. All of them will be up for it, while the Chinese players would also look to comeback.”One of Saina’s achievements this year is her clinical execution of Wang Yihan at the All England quarter-finals, an opponent whose fiercely attacking game has left the Indian bewildered in past. It was only her second win in 11 attempts against the Olympic silver medallist. The match was a crucial one in her career because of her perfect execution of a well thought-out strategy, a new dimension of her game under Vimal who has goaded Saina to be technically astute.”She has got little more variety into her game now, she is moving better and quick at the net. She is taking the shuttle early and she is more deceptive, and if she can do that under pressure, it will pay her more dividends. There will be tough matches for everybody right from the last 16 stage. She needs to be selffocused,” says Vimal.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *