Fontaine Chapman admits she won’t “over think” being national champion despite going into the English National Badminton Championships as firm favourite to win a title.
England’s number one singles star will travel to Derby as top seed, looking to go one step further than last year’s runners up finish.
However, ever the pragmatist, Chapman insists she will just take it one round at a time, knowing she went into last year’s Championships in similar circumstances before falling short in the final.
She cruised through the women’s singles draw, even beating the much fancied Chloe Birch in straight sets, before missing out at the final hurdle to Nicola Cerfontyne.
The Warwickshire star said: “I am really excited for the Nationals and it would mean a lot to me if I could win a national title. But I am trying not to over think it too much.
“I have to try and take it one match at a time and give it my all.”
The women’s singles draw in Derby looks to be a tough one with like of Chloe Birch, Georgina Bland, Lydia Powell and champion Nicola Cerfontyne, all likely to harbour hopes of a first title win.
Chapman is only too aware her rivals will be gunning for national glory.
She added: “I am doing a lot more training than normal to make sure I have that edge because all of the girls on the circuit are physically strong. I have to match that.
“But I have a solid base now and it means that I can really push myself. I have done a lot of work on physical things so I can move quicker and be more agile, and it feels like I have made a lot of progress on that quickly.
“It gives me a lot of confidence and it shows I can start quickly and maintain it.
“Hopefully going into the nationals I will be a lot more confident in my ability and not so nervous about whether I am going to play well or not.
“I think I have found a good level and hopefully I can maintain it.”
Over 130 of the nation’s best badminton players are confirmed to compete for national titles at the 2016 English National Badminton Championships, 5-7 February at University of Derby.
See, hear, feel the national pride live! Click here to buy tickets.
Watch all the world's best players at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, 8-13 March 2016.
Don't miss out - get tickets now - allenglandbadminton.com/tickets/info
Let badminton shape your life. Play for fitness, fun or competition.
Find a court near you – badmintonengland.co.uk/waystoplay