Pullela Gopichand and Saina Nehwal are among the biggest faces in Indian Badminton. Nehwal recently once again proved why she is the best Indian Badminton player by defeating her own teammate PV Sindhu in the Commonwealth Games 2018 final.
However, it is coach Gopichand who transformed both Saina and Sindhu into a badminton stars of the nation. Recently, at a FICCI FLO gathering, in a conversation with Times of India, Gopichand opened up on various topics.
Starting with Saina, Gopichand said, “She would not worry if her opponent was a senior Indian or a World No 1, 2, or 3. We would do no big talks or half-an-hour lectures before the match. She would go in saying ‘haan, maar doongi bhaiya’ (I will defeat the opponent), and come back to tell me, ‘Jeet gayi, bhaiya’ (I won).”
“She was 17 or 18 when she lost the quarterfinals at 2008 Olympics. She was disheartened. So while coming back in the bus, I told her jokingly ‘Tomorrow, 6 am’. I didn’t expect her to say ‘yes’ because we had been training for five-six months. Instead she asked, ‘Bhaiya, can we start the training at 6.30am? Saina was a vegetarian, so I had to introduce her to meat. She started off with duck’s tongue,” revealed Gopichand.
Gopichand also spoke about Saina’s love for films and added, “Saina is a big Bollywood fan, she keeps telling me about films.”