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Badminton

Saina Nehwal believes she would have become a better tennis player

Legendary Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal thinks that she would have become a better tennis player owing to her strength.

Saina Nehwal believes she would have become a better tennis player
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Saina Nehwal won the women's singles bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2018.

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 11 July 2024 3:44 PM GMT

Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal believes that she would have been a better tennis player had she picked up the tennis racquet.

India's trailblazer in badminton, Nehwal became the first Indian woman shuttler to be ranked number one in the world and the first Indian shuttler to win an Olympic medal.

“Sometimes I feel that it would have been good if my parents had put me in tennis,” Saina said during her “Her Story–My Story” talk at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“There is more money and I had more strength I think. I could have done better in tennis than badminton,” she added.

While Saina has inspired many to take up badminton, the 34-year-old herself didn’t have anyone to look up to when she picked the racquet at the age of eight.

“When I started, I didn’t have any role models to look up to and say ‘I want to be world number one or be an Olympic medallist,’ I hadn’t seen anyone do that in badminton before me,” Saina said.

Besides the London Olympics bronze, Nehwal also won a bronze and a silver at the World Championships and multiple Commonwealth Games gold medals, including two in the women’s singles.

Saina urges youngsters to pick sports

Saina Nehwal cited her example and urged the youngsters present to take up a career in sports and that is the only way India can compete with countries like China.

“I always tell children to concentrate on Games. China wins 60-70 medals, We only get 3-4. There are so many doctors and engineers, their names don’t come in newspapers,” she said.

“I want girls to especially come forward and start getting fit and get into sports. Now we are there for the children, there are world number one, Olympic champions and so many medallists to look up to,” she added.

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