In what could be a morale boost to her Olympics dream, India's ace shuttler and top-seed Saina Nehwal won Thailand Open 2012 on Sunday, defeating second seed Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand 19-21, 21-15, 21-10.
Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal.
The world number five took 65 minutes to wrap up the game. She lost the first set but fought back in the next two sets to clinch the title. It was her third win in four meetings against the world number 11 Thailand shuttler.
Nehwal defeated third seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 24-22, 21-11 in the semi-final.
"It was a big tournament, very tough, and I played with most of the top players. The final was very intense because Inthanon is world No 11 and one of the good youngsters who is playing well against all the tough players," Saina told DNA.
"There were three to four Chinese players, but they were not their top shuttlers. The competition is very severe at every level nowadays as everyone is playing well," she added.
Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold in March and now Thailand Open must have boosted Saina Nehwal's confidence in her quest for Olympics medal, but she doesn't want to think that way.
"I can't say now what I can do at the Olympics. There is still a lot of time. I have to train very hard for that. Olympics is not an easy tournament, the competition is extremely high. People expect a great deal from me. I just expect hard work from myself," DNA quoted her as saying.
Asserting that she is more experienced now than she was during Beijing Olympics (2008), she added, "From then, till now, I have won many tournaments and beaten quite a few top players. You never know if you can win the Olympics, be it as a junior or as an experienced player. Last time, when I was 18, I beat world No 5 (Wang Chen) in the pre-quarterfinals. Even experienced players lose at times. It's how you play on that particular day."
Saina Nehwal is now looking forward to do well in the Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series Premium starting Tuesday. It is a bigger tournament where she has to play the top Chinese players.
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