Badminton legend Morten Frost impressed by Saina Nehwal

"I love the way she (Nehwal) enlivens the proceedings with her never-say-die attitude. She is a fantastic player and capable of winning many more majors," said the 57-year-old Frost.

Badminton great and former All England champion Morten Frost, who is now the head coach of the Malaysian team for the Badminton Asia team championship in Hyderabad, seen at the venue in Hyderabad on Monday   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

A file picture of legendary badminton player Morten Frost Hansen of Denmark (left) and veteran badminton player Prakash Padukone of India   -  Murali Kumar K.

Badminton great from Denmark, Morten Frost, said that he is impressed with the kind of energy India’s champion women’s shuttler Saina Nehwal brings on to the court.

“I love the way she enlivens the proceedings with her never-say-die attitude. She is a fantastic player and capable of winning many more majors,” said the 57-year-old Frost, who is in the city with the Malaysian team for the Badminton Asia team championship.

Reflecting on the other gifted shuttler from the city, P. V. Sindhu, Frost said that she is good but a lot would depend of how she adapted to new challenges and how she showed the ability to learn quickly. “It is very important to see how Sindhu keeps the layer on layer in the days to come. Probably a little inconsistent now for one day she beats a top ranked player and in the next event she loses to a lesser-rated player,” he pointed out.

On the Indian men’s shuttlers, Frost said he is pleased with the ability of Kidambi Srikanth to come up with the big points in a hurry. “At his best, he shows this great ability to score big points. But when not peaking, he looks like anyone else of his teammates,” he said with a big smile.

Frost believes that the badminton world has already seen some great contest from the rivalry between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. “But, credit to Lin Dan for winning most of the matches in important events. Both are great players and have a lot to offer still to the game,” he said.

Going back to his playing days and his association with the Indian badminton great Prakash Padukone, Frost recalled that at that particular time the Indian shuttler was finding it difficult to find good training partners. “Quite naturally his stint in Denmark helped him a lot for he came at the right time then. We had a strong relationship. But, I must also say that I also benefitted a lot after that as I could beat him whenever we played each other in major events,” he quipped. Frost felt that the Indian was a fantastic stroke player and was mentally very tough.

To a query on how Pullela Gopichand was compared to Prakash Padukone, he replied: “Well, Gopi owns his own place in badminton history having won the All England championship in 2001. Both he and Prakash belonged to different eras and any comparison would be unfair.”

On his current assignment, the Dane said that he was enjoying the stint with the Malaysian team. He also had a special word of appreciation for the way Lee Chong Wei played the game. “He is a fantastic player and has a lot to contribute to the sport,” he said.

But Chong Wei has never won a World championship or an Olympic gold. The coach had an answer for it though: “Well, sometimes you have to accept that the opponent played better than you on the given day.”