A nine-month title draught notwithstanding, Saina Nehwal on Friday vowed to bounce back strongly at the next month’s world championship, and said the much-needed six-week break after the Southeast Asian circuit will give her ample time to regain her fitness and help her win titles once again.
The world no. 3 had failed to go beyond the semi-finals in her last three tournaments — the Thailand Open, the Indonesia Open, and the Singapore Open — but it doesn’t seem to concern her much, as she believes she can still win more titles in the future.
“It doesn’t concern me that much because I know if I’m at my best, I can win again. I was not happy with what was happening with me. Some small injuries can irritate you. You can’t be at your best when you are injured,” Saina told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the ‘Shuttle Express’ — the Indian Badminton League’s (IBL) school program initiative — in Noida.
“I got this six weeks break after a long time. I was not happy with my fitness. I needed that break but when I got that break (after India Open), my toe got fractured. At the starting of the year, I also had a knee injury. Now, I am okay, and hopefully should come up with a good performance in the world championship,” the ace shuttler said.
Saina was excited about the Indian Badminton League, which starts on August 14.
“The IBL will give a good platform for senior and junior players to showcase their talent,” said the Olympics bronze medallist.
“I played in the India Open and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and people came to watch. IBL will be like the Sudirman Cup, a team event, and it would be more entertaining,” she added.
Asked about the importance of big names in IBL franchises, Saina said, “Big names are important. People in India may not know names like Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan. If they play here, may be they will become popular. It happened in cricket.”
Talking about China’s lack of interest in the IBL, she remarked, “Chinese need to be more open. It is such a big league. The prize money is double the amount one gets in super series. I hope they come.”