Saina Nehwal banging head against Chinese wall

NEW DELHI Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:47pm IST

Saina Nehwal returns a shot to Aprilia Yuswandari of Indonesia during their women's singles match at the second round of Indonesia Open badminton tournament in Jakarta June 14, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta /Files

Saina Nehwal returns a shot to Aprilia Yuswandari of Indonesia during their women's singles match at the second round of Indonesia Open badminton tournament in Jakarta June 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Beawiharta /Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - China's enviable pool of outstanding talent makes it almost impossible for anyone else to make a dent on their ruthless domination of badminton, Saina Nehwal said on Monday.

The London Olympic bronze medallist has been something of an aberration in the women's rankings, being the lone non-Chinese in the top five for much of the last year and offering sporadic challenges to the sport's super-power nation.

Nehwal is ranked second, sandwiched between Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan, winners of the gold and silver in London last year, and is in awe of China's conveyor belt of talent.

"It's not easy to break the Chinese wall," Nehwal told reporters ahead of this week's Indian Open in New Delhi.

"Even if you beat one or two in one tournament the others will be there in the next tournament. It's not easy to beat them again and again," added the 23-year-old.

"We can try to do it but we don't have a system like that. They have so many players, it's like cricket (in India).

"I'm happy that girls from different countries are trying to beat them and be among the top players. But to be there consistently, it's difficult for other countries."

German Juliane Schenk and Korean Sung Ji Hyun complete the women's top five.

"The competition is really tough," said Nehwal. "When you play a lot, you get tired but they (China) have seven or eight players.

"Whether one wins or the other, finally China wins. It's not easy for other countries to do well consistently.

"Game-wise there is not much difference but mentally they are ahead. I have defeated almost all of them, other girls are also defeating them.

"It's just that in any tournament, they are more prepared than others." said Nehwal.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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