IBL will be as big as IPL: Saina
She is naturally elated and for several reasons. First and foremost, she brushed aside the prophets of doom who began comparing P V Sindhu with her....
Hyderabad: She is naturally elated and for several reasons. First and foremost, she brushed aside the prophets of doom who began comparing P V Sindhu with her. Unfazed and undeterred by such illogical reasons, Saina Nehwal has demonstrated that when it comes to badminton she is the undisputed queen in India. The only player to remain unbeaten, Nehwal has reaffirmed all over again that she is way above her peers. Soon after steering Hyderabad Hotshots to the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) trophy, she said that it would become as big as Indian Premier League (IPL) in the coming years.
"Nobody expected it would be so successful because everyone was comparing it with the IPL, which is actually not right at this point of time. I am sure it will catch up with IPL," she said. The Hyderabad Hotshots, led by Saina, clinched the trophy late Saturday night defeating Awadhe Warriors 3-1. The London Olympic bronze-medallist, who was slated to play in the mixed doubles, said she was nervous against the Indonesian sibling pair of Markis Kido and Pia Bernadeth if the tie had come down to the last match.
"I am a singles player. Frankly speaking, I was a little scared also because Kido and Pia are world number nine. They are champions. I was just ready and wanted to give my best. That was our strategy but we pulled out in the men's singles. It would have been a tough match because Kido and Pia are better than us," she said. "In the first game when Ajay [Jayaram] lost, I was a little tense and thought it is going to come down to the mixed doubles. I think the way he played in the second and the third (game) was brilliant," she added.
On her match against PV Sindhu, Saina said, "It was the finals so I personally had no pressure. I just wanted to give my best. Sindhu also played quite well but I am happy I pulled off my match. "We actually didn't expect the doubles also because Kido and Mathias Boe are great champions at the same time our players did very well." The world number four said next year's IBL would be tougher as more singles players are expected to participate in the tournament. "Next year, it will be tougher because many more singles players would be coming in. It is more difficult because it is a team event and there is a lot of pressure on you but at the same time, it will help me because I would be playing with a lot of top players," she said.
24 Jan 2020 9:36 PM GMT