‘Saina, Sindhu are precious diamonds’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 May 2018 10:18:40



INDIA’S chief badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Saturday called PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal—his two most successful pupils—as “precious diamonds”.
Last month, Saina claimed her second individual Commonwealth Games gold medal by defeating world number 3 Sindhu 21-18, 23-21 in a riveting women’s singles final at Gold Coast, Australia.

“As a coach I treat both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu as precious diamonds. Winning or loosing happens every day at the Academy in Hyderabad. Win or defeat in game encourages the winner and looser to raise the bar and reach higher,” said Gopichand.
With the win at Gold Coast, Saina, ranked 12th in the world, took her overall head-to-head record against Sindhu to 4-1.

The last time these two shuttlers met in the final of an event was at last year’s National Badminton Championships where Saina won 21-17, 27-25 to clinch her third title.
Gopichand was speaking during a felicitation programme organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), the women business wing of the Federation of Indian chambers of Commerce & Industry.

The taskmaster added, “during competitions or coming matches I take away players including Saina and Sindhu mobile phones and raid their rooms to check laptops and refrigerators to check they have no chocolates stocked.
“One has to be strict with them to win. My dream is my students winning gold in Olympics.”

I take Sindhu just like any other opponent: Saina
SAINA Nehwal has never really tried to decode as to why she has enjoyed a higher success rate against arch-rival PV Sindhu, whom she considers as just another opponent.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina has a 3-1 head-to-head record in the international matches against Rio Games silver medallist Sindhu, including the win in the Commonwealth Games final.

“It’s not about me playing against Sindhu or any other opponent. I just take her (Sindhu) as any other opponent. I have issues with some of the players but I am comfortable playing against some of them. May be my game is more suited while playing against them. But I don’t know how it happened but it is happening on the court,” Saina said.

She was speaking to reporters at the sidelines of a felicitation function of the Commonwealth Games medal winning shuttlers by the Badminton Association of India.
“I keep working on my areas of weakness. I want to think that I am better than my opponent but actually that is not. May be Sindhu or any other player in the world, all are very dangerous at the moment. I have to be always careful and be alert about the mistakes I had done in matches against them.”