Cre­at­ing a rac­quet

SAINA NE­HWAL, 21, Bad­minton Player

India Today - - SIMPLY HYDERABAD -

Sa­nia-land pro­duced an­other queen of the rac­quet in such quick suc­ces­sion that tennis and bad­minton sud­denly started to fea­ture as se­ri­ous ca­reer choices for many young girls in Hy­der­abad. Saina Ne­hwal cre­ated his­tory at age 16, when she won the Philip­pines Open and be­came the first In­dian wo­man to win a 4-star tour­na­ment, fol­lowed by sev­eral ca­reer highs like the var­i­ous Su­per Se­ries ti­tles and nu­mer­ous gold medals she won, fetch­ing her and the na­tion wel­come ac­claim. “My par­ents push me to con­stantly out­per­form my­self, which keeps me grounded too,” says Ne­hwal. Cur­rently ranked world num­ber four, her sights are set on the 2012 Olympics in Lon­don and she’s hop­ing to give “the Chi­nese play­ers some se­ri­ous trou­ble.”

MIND OVER MAT­TER Saina is work­ing on per­fect­ing her at­tack strokes and im­prov­ing her de­fense. “Amongst my big­gest as­sets is my men­tal strength that keeps me fo­cused till the end of the game,” she says. Con­tact:www.face­book.com/sainane­hwal

sec­ond opinion

“Her com­mend­able self con­fi­dence is what gives her a win­ning edge.”

BAD­MINTON COACH

“I think like a cham­pion ev­ery day be­fore I be­gin prac­tice. It keeps my con­fi­dence high all

the time.”

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