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I expect too much from myself playing against Saina, reveals Ratchanok Intanon

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I expect too much from myself playing against Saina, reveals Ratchanok Intanon

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SportsCafe Desk

03/28/2019

Star Thailand shuttler Ratchanok Intanon has admitted that she has to give her best when playing against India’s Saina Nehwal who has almost always got the better of her. The former world champion also added that PV Sindhu's anxiety over outcomes has mostly prevented her from winning in finals.

While Nehwal has faced a whole generation of players since breaking into the international scene some 13 years back, one of her favourite opponents has been Intanon. Facing 16 times previously, Nehwal has won eleven of the battles and Intanon admitted that she is willing to learn a trick to two from her Indian rival. The 24-year-old from Thail shuttler has also been of the opinion that Newal has always looked to been superior form when playing against her. 

"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, reported PTI.

Strangely, Intanon has had a more stable and better head to head against current World No. 6 PV Sindhu, despite losing the last three encounters.  "I also like Sindhu. I'm closer to her as we are almostsame 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," she added.

Sindhu and Intanon go long back when the duo had hit the headlines during the 2013 World Championship. While Intanon had the youngest champion after shocking Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China, Sindhu had turned heads by beating defending champion Wang Yihan and former champion Wang Shixian.

Since Intanon has won four World Tour events and six Super Series tournaments while Sindhu has reached numerous finals before mostly failing. And Intanon feels it is more psychological than technical for her Indian competitor.

"Sindhu sometimes probably gets excited like me, so mentality is important. It controls everything. With good mentality, Sindhu can win more titles. She is also under more pressure because she lost in big tournaments and she expects to win when she plays next in big events. She is too anxious about the results," Ratchanok explained.

While Saina has pulled out of the ongoing India open with an intestinal infection, both Intanon and Sindhu have advanced to round two. While Intanon would be Chen Xiaoxin, Sindhu will be facing Deng Joy Xuan.

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