Saina out to realise her number one dream

first_imgFourteen years ago, Saina Nehwal had dreamt of becoming the World No. 1 while travelling on the backseat of her father’s two- wheeler on her way to practice at Hyderabad’s Fateh Maidan Stadium.Come 2011, the Hyderabadi is all set to realise her childhood dream for she is within striking distance of becoming the numero uno. The surge she had in the latter part of 2010 when she climbed six ranking places has made it quite obvious that the Indian ace has the drive and talent to achieve her goal. In fact, all the hard work she has put in this year has ensured that she is ready to be the best player on the planet.There is no denying the fact that Saina has to play in more Super Series events in order to attain the world No. 1 ranking. She will have to play in at least eight of these tournaments and hope to win at least four in order to beccome the World No. 1.In 2010, she played in only six – in order to be fresh for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. Next year, she will be able to concentrate on playing more Super Series events. For Saina, it is the Chinese trio of Wang Shixian, Wang Lin and Wan Xin who will provide the sternest test for the No. 1 spot. The Chinese girls have won most of the majors this year and are all young and eager for success.Saina has gone on record saying that the biggest stumbling block to her becoming world No. 1 is the Chinese troika known as the ‘three Ws’. “I have little hesitation in saying that my toughest competition will come from these three Ws. They are the most talented players and very tough to beat. Each one of them has a different style of play and has different strengths. I am convinced that in order to win a major I would have to beat at least two of them.” Another of Saina’s goals next year will be to a win a major tournament. She has won four Super Series events and a CWG gold medal. But there is no World Championship or All England title adorning her mantlepiece.advertisementAt the worlds, she has twice fallen at the quarter- finals stage. A win in a major will almost certainly ensure her of the World No. 1 spot.Saina also needs to avoid injuries if she has to become the World No. 1. In the modern game, the punishing schedule can result in frequent injuries. That’s what happened at the end of a punishing 2010 when Saina had to skip the Indian Open Grand Prix in Hyderabad because of an ankle injury.The onus will be on her support staff, spearheaded by chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand, to ensure that she stays free from such setbacks in 2011. If she can do that, it will be more than half the battle won towards achieving the No. 1 spot.last_img