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I keep practicing because sometimes I forget my strokes: Saina

"I forget the strokes sometimes and so I have to keep practicing them. Unfortunately I am not very good with the wrist like many other talented players so I have to train harder," said the two-time Indonesian Open champion, who was sharpening her strokes under the watchful eyes of mentor and national coach Pullela Gopichand at the Siri Fort Complex here today.

Saina said she is desperate to clinch the India Open as it is the only Super Series title she can claim on home turf and winning here would help her get in the groove for the London Olympics in July.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal. Photo: AFP

Already assured of an Olympic berth, Saina is back at the venue where she had won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2010 and the Indian said she is confident of doing well in the tournament which starts with the qualifiers tomorrow.

"India open is a special tournament. It is the same venue where I had won the Commonwealth Games gold and have good memories and I want to win a Super Series here. It is a very important tournament for me and I am confident of doing well here," Saina told reporters after a gruelling two-hour practice session here today.

"It would be tough because many top players playing here will also be playing in Olympics and I want to perform well here so that In do well at the next two tournaments in Indonesia and Singapore before the Olympics," she added.

Asked about the draw, Saina said: "It is a good draw, Tine Baun is there in the quarters. Even the Chinese I had lost against in ABC will also play in the qualifiers here but I am confident."

The 22-year-old said she has been playing well since December last year and the Chinese are scared of her now. "Last year, I lost in the first round. I'd taken a month's rest after my ankle injury and couldn't recover in time. But right now, I am in good form, I am playing well and there is nothing to change in my game," she said.

"I lost to Chen (Xiao Jia) in ABC but that was because I was not ready for her and also some line calls went against me. She played really well and have been defeating top players consistently but she didn't play in the Super Series but this time, I realised she is a good player.

"But I've been playing well since last six months and except for 3-4 Chinese, I have defeated the rest regularly. They are scared to play against me. However, to beat those top players, I need to train more. I've got enough time and Gopi Sir (Pullela Gopichand) has something in his mind regarding the training," she added.

Talking about the Chinese, Saina said: "If China has 6-7 players in a tournament, they become confident but for other countries it is just one player, so it is tough. "I beat Shixian Wang consistently. I've played against Yihan Wang in January last and don't know how her game is now. Xuerui Li too is an attacking player and is in good form. She won the ABC last week. I will find out how much I have improved when I come across them." Saina said she has to tread her path carefully and come up with some strategy to stay ahead of the Chinese during Indonesia and Singapore.

"China has so many in support staff. All their coaches are winners of some Super Series or Olympic medallist or All England champions and so they come with a new strategy everytime they play me and I have to find out a new strategy to be a step ahead of them," she said.

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