London: Saina Nehwal had said her draw was not as easy as it seems on paper. The tournament fourth seed faced a tough challenge from Tine Baun from Denmark on Thursday evening. After a hard-fought 21-15, 22-20 win and sweating profusely, Saina spoke exclusively. Excerpts from a court-side chat at Wembley Arena:
Q: How real does it seem after such a close quarterfinal match?
A: Oh, I just can’t believe it I won such a thriller. When I was down 17-20, I was mentally prepared for a third game and then I gave it all. I smashed my guts out and said I will only attack. I did that and the result worked in my favour. This win will really boost my confidence.
Q: You are going to play the top seed Wang Yihan on Friday. Are you prepared?
A: You have no choice. To win the gold medal, one must beat the top players and I am in good shape. Tine gave me a good workout today. For the first time in the Olympics, I have really stretched my legs. I knew Tine would be a difficult customer. She is tall and powerful and so I needed to play my game well. It was my toughest match so far and if I can keep this form, the semifinal should be a good contest.