Hyderabad, June 19 (ANI): Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Tuesday said that her back-to-back title wins at the Thailand and Indonesia Opens had given her confidence to win a medal at the upcoming London Olympics.
Nehwal, 22, defeated Li Xuerui of China despite being a set down, outsmarting her opponent 13-21, 22-20, 21-19 on Sunday (June 17) at Jakarta.
Nehwal, while speaking to mediapersons at a felicitation event in Hyderabad, said that winning two prestigious titles on the trot would give her the extra ounce of motivation to prepare for the 2012 London Games.
This is a great boost for me before the Olympics. Winning two titles, beating so many top players but as all of you know the tournament was really tiring. I played so many long matches and I really finished it in a good note. Very happy to win the Indonesian Open the third time also the Thailand Open and this will really help my confidence for the next five weeks in training and also be ready for the Olympics, so very happy with the achievements, said Nehwal.
The road to victory to the Indonesian Open was not smooth for the Indian shuttler as she endured couple of marathon matches enroute to her third title in Jakarta.
After her quaterfinal match, which lasted a mammoth one hour and 40 minutes, Nehwal won the final in one hour and 15 minutes and it brough to an end an exhausting outing for the Hyderabad girl.
Nehwal, however, added that she enjoyed such hard fought wins as they tested her skill, stamina and endurance in big matches.
I really needed such big matches before the Olympics because everyone is preparing really hard, everyone wants to win each and every match so the competition is really high right now. As you all saw the quarterfinals' match was actually the memorable one, playing for 1 hour 40 minutes, we were dead on the court but we still managed to play such a long match and after that played the final, which was again 1 hour 15 minutes so matches are going really long and its all because every player wants to do really well, wants to win each and every tournament. But I am that happy I pulled out such tough matches because I am sure in the Olympics it's going to be even more tougher, Nehwal added.
Nehwal is currently ranked fifth behind four Chinese players. She lost three finals to her Chinese opponents last year, raising concerns about her vulnerability against them.
I am just happy that I did well against them (Chinese) in these two tournaments. I defeated quite a few of them, from last one year I have been losing to most of them so I am happy that I defeated the top most Chinese players, who are, I think right now the best players in the world and they fight for each and every point. It's just really very good to see that even if they lose the match they just want to fight for each and every point. So it's not easy to beat them, you have to be very alert and be ready for the Chinese players or any Asian player right now because all of them are really improving and working hard for the big event (Olympics), Nehwal said.
The odds were against Saina since she had lost four times and won just once against Li Xuerui.
The victory at Indonesian Open came merely seven days after she won the Thai Open on June 10.
She had a standout year in 2010 when she won three Super Series titles and the Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi, also reaching a career-best world ranking of two.
Nehwal knows the nation's expectations have grown in leaps and bounds in the last four years. (ANI)