‘Mentally tough’ Nehwal ready for World Champs

According to her coach Vimal Kumar, Saina Nehwal has what it takes to be crowned World Champion because she is "mentally tougher" than her "unpredictable rivals".

Speaking ahead of the start of the World Championships in Jakarta next week, former Indian national coach Kumar admitted that he is looking forward to seeing how the under-pressure Chinese players do in the Indonesian capital.

"This World Championship will be an open and interesting battle because the Chinese girls have not been successful for the last ten months," he said.

"In the last one year – after the Asian Games – majority of the international games were won by four girls – Saina, Carolina Marin (Spain), Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei) and Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) – these are the four girls that really dominated.

"Earlier, there were only the Chinese who ruled the roost, but now it is between Carolina and Saina. For me whoever wins the World Championship is world number one.

"Her (Saina) rivals are good players and very unpredictable, but Saina is mentally tougher than them. She also doing physically well. These factors should help her to do well in the World Championships."

World number two Nehwal faces a tricky draw if she is to move past the quarter-finals of the event for the first time in her career, with potential matches against Sayaka Takahashi in the round of 16 and Wang Yihan in the last eight on the cards.

"I don't want her to think too much on World Championships, but treat this tournament as super series ties. If she does this it will good for her. She is experienced and knows how to deal with it," Kumar added.

"All the top players are expected to give tough fight as they had five to six weeks of time for preparing for the big event. She has to take one match at a time."

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