Badminton | Saina Nehwal is mentally toughest player ever, says Vimal Kumar

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Badminton | Saina Nehwal is mentally toughest player ever, says Vimal Kumar

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SportsCafe Desk

01/29/2019

Former National Badminton coach Vimal Kumar has stated that Saina Nehwal is mentally the toughest badminton player and added that he would put her even ahead of many of her male counterparts. Saina recently won the Indonesia Masters after an injured Carolina Marin withdrew from the final.

Saina Nehwal won the Indonesia Masters title after Carolina Marin injured herself during the game and had to limp out of the final match of the tournament. Commending her performance, Saina’s former coach Vimal Kumar assessed that the former’s mental toughness is second to none and also said that she gives her 100% even if she is in pain. 

“She is definitely mentally the toughest, even I will give her edge over the men’s players, she is much tougher than all of them. She doesn’t think too much once she is on court, no matter if she has some pain, she will go all out and make it difficult for her opponents,” Vimal told PTI.

Vimal, who had coached Saina from 2014 to 2017, said that after this title win Saina’s confidence will be boosted which can, in turn, help her in the endeavour to clinch all England Title. While World Number one badminton player Tai Tzu Ying is still recovering from her wrist injury, Marin’s torn anterior cruciate ligament injury might take some time to heal in case of the injury being a major one. Hence Saina and PV Sindhu can have a real shot at the Title according to Kumar.

“It (Indonesia win) will give Saina a lot of confidence and can help her in All England Championship, she can target that. Carolina also might need 5-6 months to recover if the injury is serious, so the All England will be wide open. Carolina and Tai Tzu Ying were favourites. So now Saina and Sindhu will have big chance to win the title.”

The 2019 All England Open is scheduled to begin later this year in March and with the two major contenders out of the scene, Saina and Sindhu could pocket the title if they do well. Kumar also commended Saina for her performance in the recently concluded Indonesia Masters and reiterated that it was her mental toughness which took her all the way through to the numero uno in the title ladder 

“It is a creditable performance from. I saw a few matches, I don’t know if she had the stamina to play at a good pace like Tai Tzu Ying and Carolina Marin as she was carrying a bit of injury. I don’t think she was in right shape but because of mental toughness she pulled through quite a few matches,” said Vimal.

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