'Hope Sindhu-Marin rivalry lasts forever'

Fernando Rivas, the coach of reigning Olympic and former world champion Carolina Marin for about a decade, also said the new service rule was unfair.

Foes on court, friends off it. Carolina Marin (right) and P.V. Sindhu in a file photo.   -  PTI

Fernando Rivas, the coach of reigning Olympic and former world champion Carolina Marin for about a decade, said it would be unwise to write off Chinese domination in world badminton.

“I look at that only as a gap. They are very intelligent and will be back. They have a professional training system which produces great depth of reserve talent,” Rivas said in a chat on the sidelines of a PBL promotional event here on Tuesday.

“I would have loved to see Chinese players in the PBL as it would have been good, not just for the players but for the sport as well,” Rivas said.

“The biggest challenge for me is to get Marin match-fit (she had quite a few injury breaks after winning the Rio Olympics gold) and help her adapt to new strategies, techniques and training methods and changing her mentally too.

Rivas is disappointed that despite Marin’s achievements, the sport did not get the kind of fillip which was expected back home in Spain. “It is still the same old story,” he sighs.   -  K. V. S. Giri

 

“Focus was on the process and not on the results. It is about being ready at the right time for the big battles,” he added.

Marin-Sindhu rivalry

“Sindhu is a lot more consistent and engaging in more rallies now. She has always been a very strong player with those big smashes. Sports is full of rivalries and I wish the Marin-Sindhu rivalry lasts forever,” Rivas said with a big smile about the Indian.

“But do remember they may be rivals on the court but are very good friends off it and have great mutual respect,” he said.

On Saina Nehwal, Rivas feels she is a great fighter.

“For someone coming back from an injury and a major surgery to win a World championship bronze medal last year is something really great. She will be there as long as she wants to. She may quit badminton but badminton will not quit her.”

Rivas is disappointed that despite Marin’s achievements, the sport did not get the kind of fillip which was expected back home in Spain. “It is still the same old story,” he sighs.

Rivas said the new service rule was unfair and that he didn’t like it.

“The players have to duck as per the new rule. Something needs to be done to rectify this and I am not sure it the players were consulted before coming up with this rule.”