Courage and conviction drove Saina, says Kashyap

Parupalli Kashyap said that given the tough phase Saina Nehwal has gone through in the recent past, it has been a very impressive start to 2019.

Saina Nehwal won the Indonesia Masters 2019 after Carolina Marin limped out injured. (File Photo)   -  AFP Photo

Saina Nehwal was not sure whether she would be back in the competitive circuit during the three-week shin injury break before and during the Premier Badminton League (PBL), according to her husband Parupalli Kashyap who doubled up as her coach at the Indonesia Masters.

Kashyap, who was seen alongside Saina's coach Md Siyadatullah during her Indonesian Masters final against reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin on Sunday, told Sportstar from Indonesia that given the tough phase Saina has gone through in the recent past, it has been a very impressive start to 2019.

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“Even if Saina were to end up as a runner-up, we would have been still happier. For we are glad the way she played in the Malaysian Open and here in Indonesia. It is a tribute to her courage, conviction and ability to execute any suggestion regarding change of strategy on a given day very quickly,” feels Kashyap.

“The biggest challenge for me doubling up as a player and a coach to Saina is to get the message across to her after a critical analysis. You have to say it a bit louder and a couple of times too,” he says. “But, again having known Saina and her game for so long, it is a huge plus as a coach for me to play my bit in her success,” he added.

Marin was racing away with a 10-4 lead in the first game before she went down injured and Kashyap revealed that the strategy they planned was rendered useless as Marin was forcing Saina to play to the former's strength. “No doubt, Saina got stuck early in the final. But honestly, it was too early to pass a judgement on Saina’s game in the final. It could have still gone either way but it was obvious Marin was off to great start,” he explained.

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“Well, frankly, we both were disappointed that Marin had to walk off the court with an injury. We don’t wish it to happen to any player. Saina is known to win the games the hard way. We sincerely pray that Marin recovers quickly and is back in the circuit,” Kashyap said.

“We just hope to have a great year as our next big event will be the Senior Nationals in Guwahati and then the All England championship, though I am planning to play in Spain,” signed off Kashyap.