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For Saina nehwal, it is always about playing for the country

For Saina nehwal, it is always about playing for the country
In the wake of sports ministry’s diktat of not to extend financial help to athletes who prefer professional commitment over representing India, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Thursday insisted her first priority would always be to play for the country. ‘I don’t think anyone would not want play for the country. Everyone would want to play for the country.

Sometimes you can’t ignore that there is injury or a player goes through some difficult situation. Otherwise, I am sure everyone would want to play for the country and for the pride of the nation,’ said Saina on the sidelines of an event organised by USHA at the Delhi Golf Club on Thursday. The ministry’s diktat came after top tennis players like men’s number one Somdev Devvarman, veteran Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna refused to participate in the Incheon Asian Games, citing loss of rankings points on the ATP circuit.Asked how difficult it is to balance playing for the country and prize money events, the London Olympic bronze medallist said, ‘In the prize money event also you are not going there just as a player.

You play at the state level, then national level and finally you reach the international level. So at that level, you only play for the country. It is not about prize money or medal, it is only about your country.’ Saina, however, refused to comment when she asked specifically about top tennis players’ decision to opt out of the Asian Games to compete in ATP and WTA events. ‘I can only talk about myself and for me it is very important to play for the country,’ she insisted.
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