|‘Saina seems more determined playing against me and Sindhu’| NEW DELHI, March 28: Former World champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand says she needs to learn a trick or two from her gritty Indian rival Saina Nehwal, who always comes across more determined to win during their on-court duels.
Ratchanok, a two-time champion at the India Open, has a dismal head-to-head record of 5-11 against Saina, who has defeated her in the last five meetings.
“I expect too much from myself when I play against Saina. I know Saina is strong and never gives up. Like in the Asian Games, I was leading 17-9 or something but I lost. So she is a good fighter and I have to learn from her. Saina has come back stronger,” Ratchanok said.
The 24-year-old from Thailand, a three-time world junior champion, has a better record against Saina’s compatriot and Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu, though she has failed to beat the Indian in last three encounters.
“I also like Sindhu. I’m closer to her as we are almost same age and she sometimes supports me,” Ratchanok said.
“I know Saina has a better record against Sindhu. I don’t know what is the reason but I think when Saina plays against me or Sindhu, she is more determined.”
Interestingly, Ratchanok and Sindhu hit the headlines together at the 2013 World Championship where the Thai went on to become the youngest champion after shocking Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China, while Sindhu stunned defending champion Wang Yihan and former champion Wang Shixian.
While Ratchanok has gone on to win more titles – four World Tour events and six Super Series tournaments, Sindhu has mostly struggled to cross the final hurdle.
“Sindhu sometimes probably gets excited like me, so mentality is important. It controls everything.” – PTI