Gopichand: ‘A phenomenal contest, a match to remember’

Coach Pullela Gopichand said he was impressed by the kind of energy she displayed in the final. “I am sure, one day, Sindhu will win gold given the kind of game she displayed here,” he said.

India’s chief coach Pullela Gopichand felt P.V. Sindhu played like a world champion in the final.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

 

India’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand believes the World Championship women’s singles final should go down as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.

“It was a phenomenal contest, a match to remember where there was very little to separate the two players. Both were outstanding and there was no cushion, in terms of a sizeable lead, to experiment. It was a proof of the intensity with which the two young champions played,” Gopi told Sportstar from Glasgow.

“Yes, Okuhara was a worthy champion in the end for the kind of grit and composure she displayed and the way she pulled off three matches against Carolina Marin, Saina (semis) and Sindhu to clinch the title,” he said.

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REKINDLING PARTNERSHIP? Pullela Gopichand takes a selfie with bronze medallist Saina Nehwal.   -  Special Arrangement

“I don’t feel disappointed is the right word after Sindhu’s loss. Both played like world champions till the end and Sindhu missing the tap on the 19th point in the decider turned out to be decisive in the final analysis. Hats off to these two young champions the way they slugged it out,” said Gopi.

“It was a great fight by Sindhu and I am impressed with the kind of energy she had shown right through the final. And there are lessons to be learnt too,” he said.

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“Probably, Sindhu could have tried more strokes at the net. But, again one can imagine the kind of pressure in a such a prestigious final and one fought with such intensity. In hindsight we can say so many things,” the chief coach said. “I am sure, one day, Sindhu will win gold given the kind of game she displayed here.”

“Overall, it was a very good outing for India. Saina winning bronze and Sindhu picking silver augurs well. Even Srikanth and Sai Praneeth played well and so did the pairs of Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa and Pranav and Sikki. But there is always scope for improvement,” he said.

On Saina walking across to him after the Sindhu final, a smiling Gopi said it was always good to see two champions do well in any championship.

“There was a possibility of the two playing in the final and I hope that will happen very soon,” he said without prolonging the talk of a reunion between him and Saina (who now trains under Vimal Kumar in Bengaluru).