Jakarta: World No 4 Saina Nehwal continued her inconsistent run this year with a defeat in the final of the Indonesian Super Series badminton to China's World No 3 Yihan Wang. Saina was the defending champion here and having also won the title the year before, was expected to complete a hat-trick of titles. Instead, she went down 21-12, 21-23, 14-21, which leaves her with just one title so far this year in the shape of the Swiss Open Grand Prix, besides two runner-up finishes in Malaysia and Indonesia.
National coach Pullela Gopichand admitted his ward was inconsistent. "Yes, she surely has been inconsistent, but that is not something to worry about as she has had some really good wins as well," Gopichand told MiD DAY from Jakarta on Sunday. The 2001 All-England champion said the final was an evenly contested battle. "It was close. In fact, Saina actually served on match-point at one stage. She was unlucky."
Gopichand however felt Saina was lacking a bit on the fitness front. "Her fitness was a bit down, and that's something she needs to work on, but overall things are fine. I'm sure she will be back at playing her best at the World Championships (to be played in London from Aug 8 to 14)."
There will be no break for the 21-year-old. "She returns to training immediately and will now on the World Championship. Also, the Olympic qualification is on her mind," said Gopichand, who informed that apart from Worlds, Saina will be training for six other tournaments until the end of the year.