In what could become one of the most memorable reconciliations in Indian sporting history, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has started to train again at legendary coach Pullela Gopichand’s badminton academy in Hyderabad. Saina and Gopichand had an acrimonious split three years ago and were not on speaking terms according to a report in Times of India. Saina is currently coached by Vimal Kumar.
The report in Times of India states that Saina started to communicate again with Gopichand during the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow and has now started to train at his academy in Hyderabad again. Saina had left Gopichand’s Academy in September 2014, to join Vimal Kumar’s Academy. The report in Times of India also states that despite the split, Saina and Gopichand have a lot of respect for each other and this could lead to a reconciliation. The player-coach pair took the game of badminton by storm in India, bringing a revolution with Saina Nehwal becoming one of the greatest badminton players in India’s history under Gopichand’s guidance.
A source in Times of India also adds that training under Gopichand won’t be easy, as he already has a number of high-profile talents under his wing at the Academy, The source is quoted as saying, “Saina wants to stay in Hyderabad but things have changed a lot in the last three years. It could be difficult to fit her in the scheme of things as a number of shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap etc have the personal attention from Gopichand. In such a scenario, giving Saina the much-needed attention could be a tough ask on the part of the National Coach. But the fact that the former England champion has a special place for Saina may make her comeback a bit easier.”