Lucknow :She broke the Chinese stranglehold in badminton with her successes and Saina Nehwal feels her feat has not only changed the perception of world towards India but also inspired other shuttlers globally to challenge China in their own game.
"I never take my opponents as Chinese or Indonesian. But I feel with me winning more against them, the perception of the Chinese and the whole world towards India has changed," Saina said.
"It has also given other countries the confidence that we can also beat the Chinese. So it is not only about India but it has also inspired other countries to beat the Chinese in their game," she added.
World number eight Saina said while this year she went a step ahead with her Indonesian Super Series win, it was the Beijing Olympics quarterfinal appearance that really imbibed confidence and self belief in her.
"The year was very good. I won the Indonesian Super Series, something which I still don't believe because I had never thought I could win it so early in my career. And its not about just this win, I had a number of quarterfinal and semifinal appearances," she said.
"But it was the Olympics performance which gave me lot of confidence to beat top players. The Chinese Taipei win helped me a lot in world juniors.
"This year I have improved lot on my strokes. If last year was more of running, this year I have improved on my strokes, movement and also in my defence. So, I feel I have gained a lot overall as a player," Saina said.
Asked if there is any grey area which is a matter of concern for her, Saina said, "I am an attacking player but I feel I still have to improve on my defence and strokes. I know my smashes are good but I still have to improve, I have to keep improving always. To win at international level I have to improve on my stamina and strokes."
The 20-year-old Hyderabadi said with three major events in Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships round the corner, next year she will cut down on her Super
Series appearances to prepare for the tournaments. "Next year's challenges will be the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Championships. I am really looking forward to these three events. I am not thinking much about ranking.
"I will skip a lot of tournaments next year. I will be skipping a lot of Super Series tournaments as my focus will be to do well in these three tournaments," Saina said.
Asked about her expectations from the October 3-14 slated Delhi Games, Saina promised to give her best in the megaevent.
"I don't want to tell what I have in my mind right now. I just want to give my best. Everybody is playing well, even the Malaysians are playing well. I can't say that I am going to win but I can say I will give my best shot," she said.