Mixed emotions for coach Gopi Chand -- star ward Saina falters in World Superseries final while teenager Sindhu wins Tata Open crown
National coach Pullela Gopichand must have gone through a roller coaster of emotions yesterday as two of his wards endured opposite fates in their respective finals. While, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal went down to World Champion Wang Yihan of China 21-18, 13-21, 13-21 in the BWF World Superseries Finals in Lizhou (China), rising star Pusarla Venkata Sindhu overcame Sayali Gokhale 21-10, 20-22, 21-11 in the Tata Open India International Challenge summit clash at NSCI (Mumbai).
The news of 16-year-old Sindhu's spirited come-from-behind victory brought much-needed cheer for Gopi, who had earlier watched his star ward -- the first Indian singles player to appear in the summit clash of a World Superseries Finals -- miss out on a chance of making greater history by winning it. The World No 4 started brightly but could not keep pace with Yihan, who has ended victor in all four of their clashes till date.
Saina Nehwal during yesterday's BWF World Superseries women's
singles final against China's Wang Yihan in Liuzhou. Right: PV Sindhu
during the Tata Open final against Sayali Gokhale at NSCI. Pics/AFP,
"It was a mixed day. I was expecting Sindhu to win her game. I was hoping Saina could also pull off a win. "This has not been such a great year for Saina. Personally, I feel this particular tournament was good for her.
She played well but unfortunately she couldn't win. I'm satisfied with her performance but disappointed that she lost at the final hurdle," Gopi told MiD DAY from China.
"I'm very happy for Sindhu. She's had some good wins this year. She is the next big star in the making. She should reach where Saina is now in the next 2-3 yrs," he added.
Sindhu, who was favourite to win the Tata Open after Japanese top seed Eriko Hirose missed the tournament due to an ailment, was tested for the first time but managed to keep her nerve.