'Nothing has come easily to me'

'Nothing has come easily to me'

Saina Nehwal may be a phenomenon on court. But she’s uber cool off it. She didn’t let go of her million dollar smile as she obliged the flashing cameras at an event in the City recently. 

The event that was meant to be a press conference, soon turned out to be a haven for Saina’s fans — most of them young girls in their early teens — who waited rather patiently for her autograph and perhaps a picture with her. And when they finally got what they had been waiting for, the result was one of  unalloyed joy.

Saina was not an overnight success. She began her affair with the badminton racquet when she was barely nine years old and she says without batting an eyelid that it is her mother, a badminton champion herself, who first spotted a budding star in her little daughter. “I am where I am because of my mother, who believed that I had it in me to win an Olympic medal someday. It was a dream she had for me,” Saina tells Metrolife with a tinge of pride in her voice. The ace shuttler reasons, “Nothing has come easily to me. I’ve had to work very hard and now looking back, it looks like I’ve inspired a lot of young people to take to the sport, which has assumed a new meaning altogether with the Indian Badminton League (IBL).” 

Saina is thrilled that people have already begun comparing the Indian Badminton League (IBL) to the Indian Premier League (IPL). “The IBL has got off to a good start and it was indeed a little stressful but one saw great crowd support. With better management, IBL is sure to become popular,” she reasons. Just like anybody else, Saina too has her good and bad days. “I am human too, so there are difficult days and times when I feel low and sometimes cry. But this is all an indispensable part of life. There’s no time to stand and stare,” she beams.     

Saina hopes a lot of young people will take to badminton. “I believe that if I can do it, then anybody can. I’ve given my whole life to the sport and I can see that a lot of young people are slowly getting hooked to badminton. That’s something to cheer about,” she smiles.

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