'Killing calendar': Saina expresses her displeasure with the BWF’s schedule

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NEW DELHI: Defending champion Saina Nehwal said on Wednesday that the crammed calendar was not parting much time to rest and prepare for tournaments, which are lined up one after the other. Nehwal has entered the second round of the India Open Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour 500. She was expressing her displeasure with the schedule.

"It is not about training, it is about giving time to my body. It is tough; it is a 'killing sport'. It looks easy from outside that we are playing strokes. I don't want to just play. I want time to be fresh for tournaments," said Nehwal after reaching the second round at the India Open.

"It is not easy for people to understand what we go through. I am not 20 anymore, I have to keep myself fit to be able to play for long and you see the calendar, it is a killing calendar and we don't know when and how many tournaments we will play and what happens next," she added.

According to the report of ANI, last year, Nehwal slammed the Badminton body for making mandatory for top 15 singles players to play at least 12 tournaments in a calendar year.

Though later on, she had said that she held nothing against BWF, she had added that it would be better if the number of mandatory tournaments could be trimmed a bit.

The London Olympics bronze medallist yesterday further noted that "I know people want me to play and want me to be there but what is the point when people say 'Saina lost' and 'Saina is out of form'. Then I have to face it, nobody else. It is a funny thing but I feel bad. I cry sometimes because it is not easy to take".

"You have to understand that I still need time. It is not that I haven't played for India. I have played enough Uber Cup and every time I played I have won all my matches," Saina told reporters here.

"I have planned in such a way that I give good result in team events and big events. So, I am mostly looking at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, those are two targets for me. I want to challenge myself. Sometimes, I play stupid strokes and I have to be smarter and I don't just want to play. I know if I am fit, I can win," later noted.

Yesterday, Nehwal kicked off her India Open campaign on a promising note as she thrashed Danish player Sofie Holmboe Dahl in straight games in the opening match of the women's singles event.

Nehwal will now lock horns with Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark in the second round.

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu also made a winning start by brushing aside Natalia Koch Rohde 21-10, 21-13 in the first round.

The top-seed will square off with either India's Vaidehi Choudhari or Bulgaria's Linda Zetchiri for a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Image Credits: TOI

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