Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal said Thursday that she was surprised by her sudden capitulation and subsequent loss in the women’s singles quarter-final of the French Open Super Series against Chinese World No.2 Shixian Wang.
The Olympic bronze medallist said she hoped to learn from the mistakes committed during the game to mount a stronger challenge against the top-ranked Chinese players in the year-ending Super Series Finals in Dubai, starting Dec 17, adding that one title triumph will increase her confidence and performance levels considerably.
“I came very very close to entering the semi-final of the French Open. I was leading 14-8. I generally don’t lose matches from such positions but it was a bit surprising to me as well to lose from such a position. I should have taken a break in between. But sometimes in high pressure matches you tend to make mistakes and I have to learn from them,” Saina said here.
However, the World No.5 said she was feeling positive about her form and believes that she is on the right track since changing her coach in September this year. She split with her long-time coach Pullela Gopichand and is currently playing under the guidance of U. Vimal Kumar.
“My performances after changing my coach have been very good. I have become more consistent. I am happy to be the sole Indian who is consistently challenging the Chinese players for the top spot which proves my consistency,” said the 24-year-old.
“Changing my coach is not a long-term or a short-term plan. It was done to improve my game a little bit. I have trained under Gopi sir for nearly 10 years and I wanted a subtle change to see if there is any improvement in my game.”
She stressed on her belief that a title triumph is not far away and she needs to be patient to achieve it.
“The win is not far. I know the amount of effort I am putting in my game and I need to be patient. Of course it is tough to break the Chinese dominance in the rankings as all are very fit and strong players,” said the Hyderabadi.
“But I am the only one giving them a tough fight and I am just waiting for the first win under my new coach. But improvements won’t happen drastically. It will happen slowly and I am on the right track.”
Saina said that her recent rise in the rankings is an acknowledgement of her consistent performances this year where she has won two titles and recently appeared in quarter-finals of Denmark and French Open, losing to Shixian on both occasions.
“My performance this year has only gone up. I have done very well this year, won two titles. The players I have lost to are only the top-3. I am sure one good win will make a huge difference to my game and make an even better player next year. I just need some more time to settle under my new coach. Then things will improve,” she remarked.