Chinese domination in badminton is slowly ending, declared Indian ace Saina Nehwal after stunning world number three Wang Xin in the Sudirman Cup, insisting that the competition has opened up with Asian and European players rising to the challenge.
Saina shocked Xin in her own den during the Sudirman Cup and it was only second defeat for China in the event after Germany’s Juliane Schenk shocked the top-ranked Wang Shixian.
“It’s good that nowadays a lot of players are coming in to beat the Chinese -- not only me, but I also think Juliane Schenk and Tine (Baun, of Denmark). The Thai players and Japanese are also doing very well,” Saina said.
“We are all training very hard and I think now everyone is believing they can beat the Chinese, so I think the road is quite open now,” she was quoted as saying by media in Qingdao, China.
The young Indian player said the recent success of many Asian and European players players has made the Chinese nervous.
“The Chinese players are getting a little tense that a lot of players are doing very well and they (the Chinese) should be a little careful. The competition is opening up and it’s very tough now,” Saina said.
China’s head coach Li Yongbo also praised Saina for her gritty show and said the emergence of new players augurs well for the game.
“Nehwal posed a big challenge to Wang Xin and she is a strong player. She did a very good job. I agree that in the women’s singles more foreign players are doing better than before,” he said.
“But this is not a bad thing, it’s good to promote badminton in the world and we don’t expect China to win all the matches. We all hope that badminton can develop in a more even way,” Yongbo said.