24 January, 2021

Saina Nehwal

The ace shuttler on her maiden Super Series title at the Indonesian Open recently

Saina Nehwal
Wow! You beat the Chinese at their game.

I’m still surprised how it all happened. I had lost the first game to Li, and in the second set, we were locked at 17-17. I was nervous, but grit and determination kept me going and I won the set by 19-21. This buoyed my confidence in the third set which was vital for the win.

Was this your best game ever?

I can’t say. However, my most memorable game was in the Olympics QF where I lost.

Both your parents are badminton champions so you must have begun early.

I had been visiting badminton courts with my parents ever since I was an infant. While they were playing, I was made to sleep in the corner for hours. I learnt to handle a racquet at five and by nine I was fully into the game.

You seem to lead a very austere life unlike other teenagers.

I took up badminton like a medical student would take up his or her studies.

At 19, you’ve conquered great heights. What’s your ultimate aim?

To go still further. I never thought I would achieve it so early. In...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Venugopal Pillai

Latest Magazine

February 01, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section