Saina needs to be faster on court: Peter Gade

Saina needs to be faster on court: Peter Gade

The 1999 All England Open Champion feels Saina will definitely start as one of the favourites in the Indian Open Super Series but said she will have to deal with the constant pressure which is being created by the media.

"Tine (Baun) and Saina are the favourites but Saina has got the home advantage but it is not always an advantage. She won the Commonwealth Games here but it is tough on her nerves. Media puts pressure on her. She is mentally tough and if she can keep improving in different areas of the game, she can be the best," Peter told reporters here.

"I saw her in Korea, she is very talented but she has got some areas where she needs to improve. In Korea, of course, she was coming from an injury but faster movement in footwork is one of the areas where she can improve. She has to be at the top of her game to beat the Chinese," said the Dane.

"It is really great that players from different countries are coming up and I hope Saina can continue to play at the top for many years to come," he said. The 34-year-old Peter believes India has a lot of talented men shuttlers but they need to reach the semifinals and finals more often to break into the top-10.

"India is a badminton country for the future but it is tough, specially, in the men's singles to break into top 10. There are talented players. Kashyap is one of them, a talented prospect, there are other Indian players also. They have to get into the quarterfinals, semifinals, finals more often, and may be one of them may go all the way," he said.

Asked about injuries which have plagued the careers of many Indian shuttlers, Peter said, "If you push yourself to the limit, you would be injured but you need to bounce back.

"Of course injuries are not good, I had my injuries in the last part of 2010 but I had to bounce back quickly, it shows a lot of character to bounce back. I think a lot of Indian players are talented but they need to be stable," he said.

Asked about his rivalry with world number one Lee Chong Wei and second ranked Indonesian Taufik Hidayat, Peter said, "The competition is close. Lee Chong Wei have been the number one for many months now. He is a very difficult player to beat, he almost never have a off day.

"I have beaten him in some occasions and if I have to beat him, I have to be more than 100 per cent. Taufik is same as me, he has been there for many years. He is a top talented player, I respect them both a lot, I think we all respect the rivalry that we have among us," he said.

Chinese players are not participating in the tournament but third seed Peter feels it would still be a tough competition in men's singles as there are other top quality players as well.

"In men's singles only the Chinese are not here but it is very tough, You have Lee Chong Wei here, there is Taufik and all the others. "It is a tough tournament and for me it is a start up to the World Championship and also the Olympics, so it is a first step and I hope to head in the right direction," said Peter, who will take on Kazushi Yamada of Japan in the first round.

Peter, who played in India in 2009 World Championship, said India deserves to host a super series event as it has a good fanbase for the game.

"There are a lot of good players in India, a lot of fans are interested in India about badminton, it is natural that super series should be in India and hopefully in future a premium super series will be here," Peter said.

"The first time I came to Hyderabad, now I am in New Delhi, I am looking forward to how Delhi is and hopefully more spectators here than Hyderabad. I hope I can do well," he added.

Asked how does he keep up his competitive edge after playing for more than a decade, Peter said it is in his blood and he is very passionate about the game. "It is in my blood. I train every morning and I never feel like not training, even when I am tired, I am up for it. I am 34 but i keep pushing myself always, one has to develop, fast as much as one can, I might not be as fast as I was 22 years old but I have to be as fast as possible," he said.

Peter used to be worried about the future of Danish badminton but said things are looking up for Denmark with the up and coming players like Viktor Axelsen and Jan O Jorgensen doing well.

"I was worried a bit but now there has been some signs of new talent coming up in Denmark. We have the world junior champion Viktor Axelsen from Denmark. Hopefully he can get the challenge and get into the senior circuit. We also have young Jan O Jorgensen, they have to show they have the mental guts to play the game," he said.