Hyderabad: Welcomed by an adoring crowd in her home town, Indian badminton whiz Saina Nehwal has expressed immense satisfaction at winning the Indonesia Open. The 22-year-old was visibly satisfied at beating Xuerui Li of China 13-21, 22-20, 21-19 in the summit clash in Jakarta on Sunday, but remained grounded when it came to expectation at this summer's Olympic Games in London.
"I am very happy to win the Indonesia Open for the third time," Nehwal told reporters. "Beating the in-form Li in the finals was very special. The competition is really high these days and I am happy I pulled out such tough matches. The Chinese are tough opponents. It's not easy to win against them."
Reflecting on the Indonesian Open, Saina said her marathon one-hour-37-minute quarter-final clash with Chinese Shixian Wang was more like the final than the actual summit clash. "The quarter-finals was the finals for me because it was a really long match and we were fighting for each and every set. In the third set it was 1-0, 1-1, 2-2 and so until 19-19 it was equal. I think I was lucky on that day that I pulled out those last two points with great fighting spirit. It was very tiring."
Nehwal, who made history in 2009 by becoming the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, was hoping for an equally impressive performance at the London Olympics next month.
"I will have to work on some weak areas before the Olympics, where the competition will be high. This win is a great boost for me before the Olympics.
In the Olympics there are three of four Chinese [opponents] so I will have to work extra hard, but I've played two tournaments so the confidence is high and mentally I am prepared. This will be a very tough four-five weeks for me and the key is to be injury-free."
Asked about the rankings, Nehwal said she did not focus on those. "Rankings hardly matter. If I play well, I will be No. 1. I don't care about the rankings. For me it's important to win tournaments. If I'm in great shape and in rhythm then I'll become No. 1."