Sania's new high

Published : Jul 29, 2010 00:00 IST

India's Saina Nehwal jumped one spot to World No. 2, a major boost for the star shuttler ahead of the World Championships in Paris from August 23.

Saina, who pipped Xin Wang of China in the world badminton ranking charts, is now behind top-ranked Chinese Yihan Wang.

The Indian recently won three back-to-back tournaments, including two Super Series titles. Saina, 20, won the Indian Open Grand Prix, Singapore Open and Indonesian Open.

“It is a surprise for me and it has come just before the World Championships. In fact, the last one month has been a surprise. I have done consistently well in the last couple of months,” said Saina.

“Everything is happening fast in my career. The previous months were very tough as well. I am a bit nervous also. Things would be different. The expectations will be high and the competition will be tough from now on,” she said.

Saina, however, said it would be no different once you are on the court. “It is the same whether you are ranked No. 1 or 100 in world. At the international level, whoever is better on the given day will win. If you don't play well, you don't win.”

Saina, who has been made the captain of the Indian team for the World Championships, said she will give her best. “I am happy to be the captain. I have to focus on my game. It's an individual event. All the players are doing well and their rankings have improved. I can only motivate them to do well.”

Saina said she wants to win the World Championship before attaining the numero uno status. “It is a dream come true. I never expected to reach number two so early. But before I achieve the number one status I want to become the World champion,” said Saina, who is just 1200 points away from Yihan Wang. “I am confident I can do well. My strategy would be to work hard, train harder, stay fit and give my best,” Saina added.

After the World Championship, Saina will carry India's hopes in the Commonwealth Games and the shuttler said she will work on her fitness and strokes to be in peak form in the October 3-14 event.

“I am happy with my fitness but for the Commonwealth Games I will have to push my fitness further and work on my strokes. There is still time and all the players have to be really fit to do well in the tournament,” she said.

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