A runner-up three years ago, Saina Nehwal has not given up on her dream of winning the oldest title in badminton by triumphing at the YONEX All England Open.
The 27-year-old Indian has Commonwealth, Asian, World and Olympic medals to her name – as well as Superseries wins in Australia, India, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.
But she has yet to climb the top step of the podium in Birmingham and is determined to do so before her time in the game comes to an end – and make a little bit of history in doing so.
“In badminton we all know that it is one of the oldest and most prestigious tournaments – it is a dream of all badminton players to win it,” she said.
“The cream of all badminton players vie for the honour of being champion at the YONEX All England, so it is most liked by badminton players.
“India has won it twice in the past in men’s section, I want it for India in women section. It will be history to win it for Indian women.
“I have won in other countries open tournaments but it is grace to win All England, still higher in my mind than other nations.”
With the shakeup of the HSBC BWF World Tour this season, the YONEX All England Open is now classed as a Super 1000 tournament – one of one three in the top tier alongside the Indonesia and China Opens.
And while Nehwal, ranked 11th in the world, may have the toughest draw of all – she will play world number one and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying in round one – she feels that if she can overcome that test, she is ready for anything.
“I am fully concentrating on my training and keeping fully fit for this prestigious tournament,” she added.
“I think my stamina is still a concern after my knee injury but I am taking full care through physios.
“I got to the final in 2015 and also had a nagging injury then. Consequently Carolina’s [Marin] speed stopped me from winning the title.
“I think my draw is still tricky, after the first encounter, the rest is fine!”
And will Nehwal be doing anything different this year to prepare for the toughest test in women’s badminton?
“Nothing more,” she concluded. “I will have the best diet, keep my body injury free and try to practise at the same pace as it will be in Birmingham.”