Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal confirmed on Saturday that she has no plans of leaving the stage yet and is eager to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to be organized in March 2021.
The 30-year-old went on to mention that she is working hard on her fitness and will be using the upcoming tournaments to prepare for the mega event next year.
“I know Olympics is in everyone’s head. It’s something very big but before that you have to think about so many tournaments. I’ve to get back to my rhythm and win against the players who are in top-20,” Nehwal said in a virtual interactive session hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
“There’s some two-three months’ of training before that. You have to be perfectly fine and play seven-eight tournaments, after that only I will think about the Olympics. But yes, I’m definitely in the race. I want to do well and I’m working hard for that.”
Nehwal was a World No.1 once but recent injuries and consequent lack of form has seen her rank dipping down to 20 in BWF. She is expected to make her comeback to professional badminton during the BWF Asian Tour which has been postponed to January 2021.
When asked about how she is motivating herself to pursue her career even after hitting 30, Nehwal cited the examples of players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, who are still going strong despite being 30+.
“I can see great examples in Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Serena doing so well. Why not you have to see how it goes? I’m a fighter and I will get back. When he can do it, why can’t I? Yes, there were times when I felt I have to ‘stop playing’ and ‘I can’t win anymore’. But then I thought I could push it,” she added.
“I love to fight. What will I do sitting at home. This is my life, this is my job.”
“I’m doing well. Injuries play a big role and that happened to me. As of now, I feel good. I can do it, I can be the best in the world. It’s always been there in my head. I’ve to correct my niggles. Improvement is definitely happening. Let’s how I play. I don’t want to take that action suddenly. I want to see how badly I lose, if I’m not capable of playing anymore,” she concluded.