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India Open 2019 | Pullela Gopichand satisfied with Kidambi Srikanth’s technical improvement

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India Open 2019 | Pullela Gopichand satisfied with Kidambi Srikanth’s technical improvement

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SportsCafe Desk


After the final day of action at the India Open badminton championship, Pullela Gopichand has stated that he is happy with Kidambi Srikanth’s improvement in technique. The national coach also opined that B Sumeeth Reddy was unfortunate to get decisions against him during the men’s doubles match.

Srikanth was clearly the best performer for the host nation in the championship as he reached the men’s singles final before going down to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in straight games. Srikanth had a very good outing in the tournament and make a stunning comeback after going a game down in his semi-final tie against China’s Hyuan Yuxiang. The 26-year-old shuttler made it to the final round of a BWF world tour or super series event in the men’s singles category after a long gap of 17 months.

National coach Gopichand is happy with the way Srikanth has worked on his technique and improved on that off late.

“I’m very happy with the way Kidambi has progressed technically. I think Sindhu could have won. We had our chances in women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles yesterday and they could have pulled through. I think Kashyap also has had a good run. He has had a good tournament. Considering what has happened in the last year with him, it has been a good comeback,” Gopichand said after the final, reported PTI.

In the men’s doubles semi final, Indian pair Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were called service fault on a couple of occasions during their match against Indonesia’s Ricky Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama, in which the Indian pair lost 12-21, 17-21. Gopichand questioned the umpiring standards of the BWF event after that incident on Sunday night. 

“I think Sumeeth was a little unlucky [on Saturday]. I think when umpires don’t call you in the entire week and they call you on a particular day, I think there’s something wrong with the standard of umpiring in terms of consistency,” the national coach said. 

Speaking about the performance of other Indian shuttlers in the tournament in which PV Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap also qualified for the semi-finals, Gopichand said, Few of the Indians lost to each other so I would have liked them to play other opponents. The women’s doubles and men’s doubles did well. Prannoy had a good tournament. I would have liked Sindhu to wrap up the match [on Saturday]. Women’s doubles and men’s doubles had a chance to go further. I think it has been a good campaign.”

Most of the top Indian shuttlers will fancy their chances of making it to the next Olympics which will be held in Tokyo next year and they need to be injury free during the period of qualification events. Gopichand has asserted that the players have got sensible enough and have proper plans in mind ahead of the Tokyo games. 

“Players have gotten sensible and they are planning with a lot more maturity than in the past. So, I hope we get some good performances as early as possible to get those slots so there’s no mad rush towards the end leading to a burnout or an injury towards the Olympics.”

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