Hong Kong title as good as being number one: Saina

Hong Kong title as good as being number one: Saina

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 14, 2010 13:56 hrs
Saina Nehwal

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal is in no hurry to become the World number one and said winning the prestigious Hong Kong Super Series title in Wanchai was as good as achieving the numero uno status as she had beaten some top players en route to her victory.

On Sunday, Saina capped a dream year with her fourth Super Series title when she won the Hong Kong Open but that is unlikely to push her to the number one ranking.

"I will be happy if I finish the year with number one ranking. I don't know yet what is the system and how it is going to happen. I think this year I will be remaining at world number three or four but winning this tournament is like becoming world number one for me. So it's ok," Saina told reporters here.

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"I will achieve it this year or next year. I mean, all players want to become world number one and I have the same dream. Lets us see when I will achieve it," she added.

Saina bagged three back-to-back titles this year, winning the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold in Chennai, Singapore Super Series and defending the Indonesian Super Series.

The girl from Hyderabad also won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in New Delhi, before having a heartbreak at the Asian Games but Saina made sure she ends the year on a high by winning the Hong Kong Open.

"It has been a dream year for me. I played five super series out of 12 and really happy that I did well in three of them and lost in the semifinals in one of them. Also winning the Commonwealth Gold was a memorable one," Saina said here on the sidelines of the India Open that began here today.

"I am also happy with the Padma Shri and Khel Ratna award. What else a player needs? I would like thank Gopi (Pullela Gopichand) and Bhaskar Babu sir. They worked hard for this," she added.

Saina defeated the Asian Games gold medallist Shixian Wang of China in the Hong Kong Open final and she said it was special.

"Although I was quite nervous in the first set, I played very well in the second and third game. I can now start 2011 with a lot of confidence," she said.

Expressing disappointment with her failure in the Asian Games, where she lost in the quarterfinals, Saina said she wanted to give her best in the Hong Kong Open.

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"I did not find any mistake in my game (in the Hong Kong Open). I improved strokes-wise. Everything was moving perfectly well in the tournament," she said.

Asked about her challenges ahead, Saina said the World Championships and the Olympics qualifying events would be important next year.

"My aim is to win a Olympics medal and I will be happy if I win the world championships as well, also all the super series," she said with a smile. MORE

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