After winning three successive international tournaments, badminton mavin Saina Nehwal is confident of conquering the next month’s World Championship in Paris.”Considering the way I am playing and the results that I have achieved so far, I hope to win this tournament,” Saina said on the sidelines of a felicitation programme by BAI and Premier Brands.The world number three won the India Open Grand Prix Gold in Chennai, Singapore Open Super Series and also defended her Indonesian Open Super series crown recently.Her red-hot form also won her captain’s cap for the elite competition, where India are fielding a nine-member team.”I don’t know why I have been made the captain but I can say I will give my best and cheer my teammates. For everything else it has to be my coach Gopi sir,” said Saina, who was presented with 24-carat gold coins by Premier Brands, the official sponsor of the Indian team.The other members of the team for the August 23-29 competition, are Aditi Mutatkar, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, Chetan Anand, P Kashyap, Sanave Thomas, Rupesh Kumar and V Diju.The Hyderabadi said she laid emphasis on her fitness and strokes in the last six months and it showed in her performance.”I worked on my fitness a lot and also playing less tournaments this year and devoting more time in training has helped me improve strokes as well. So my stamina and range of strokes came good during these matches,” she said.Saina said she does not fear facing strong Chinese player and is ready to take them on the World Championship.advertisement”Chinese are beatable and I have proved that in the past.They are the powerhouse of badminton but all the countries have also improved a lot now and I have always been comfortable against them,” Saina said.Asked about rankings, Saina said,” It is just a number.You play well, it moves up and you lose it goes down but I want to be the number one and I know if I can keep doing the hard work, I will.
Former Grand Slam doubles tennis champion Bob Hewitt was sentenced to six years in prison by a South African court on Monday after being found guilty of two counts of rape and a charge of sexual assault of minors, local media reported.The Australian-born Hewitt, 75, was found guilty of assaulting three under-age girls during his time coaching children in South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s.Before sentencing, Hewitt pleaded with the court to take his poor health into consideration and said he had received anonymous threats warning of assault if he was put behind bars, Talk Radio 702 reported.Hewitt also told the court that he had suffered a stroke in 2010 and a heart attack in 2011. The court extended Hewitt’s bail until Tuesday when his legal team will appeal the sentence, the radio reported.Hewitt won nine Grand Slam doubles and six Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in the 1960s and 1970s. He also reached the semifinals of the men’s singles at the Australian Open three times, and won the Davis Cup with South Africa in 1974 after settling there.