'Can't take anyone for granted'

Saina is the only player, besides ninth placed Zhou Mi of Hong Kong, who belong to the current list of top 10 players competing in the event starting April 12.

“It is not an easy draw. There are some Thai players who are good, also Zhou Mi is there,” Saina said. “I know a lot of top Chinese players are not coming for this tournament. Maybe they are preparing for the Uber Cup next month, which is also very important. But it’s ok, their absence doesn’t bother me. I am not more afraid of Chinese shuttlers,” she added.

The 20-year-old has set three big challenges for herself this year — Asian Games, the World Championship and the Commonwealth Games — and said the ABC will be a good platform to fine-tune her skills.

“I have some big challenges this year, since the Asian Games, the World Championship and the Commonwealth Games will be held this year and I think ABC will be a good place to practice and set things right,” she said.

Saina said the ABC will also be an opportunity to get a feel of the newly-built Siri Fort stadium, where the badminton matches of the Commonwealth Games. Saina, who dropped to world number six after missing the Swiss Open, said the idea of skipping some events to play in the important tournaments is working well.

“It is working well for me. It is helping me to be at the peak of my game during the tournaments. I am able to work on my weaknesses and become stronger each day.

“Moreover playing too many tournaments each year is boring at times and it is good to take a break and prepare well for the big tournaments this year. I can always come back and play more events next year, so I think it’s a good decision,” she said.

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