‘Tai Tzu win made a big difference’

‘Tai Tzu win made a big difference’

Vimal Kumar

With Sindhu having capped off a stellar week in Basel with a dominant show in the World Championship final, recent Dronacharya awardee U Vimal Kumar feels her 21-7, 21-7 win over Nozomi Okuhara was the Indian star at the height of her prowess.

“Today Sindhu was so dominant that she just outclassed Okuhara. She never had a chance. That was a totally dominant performance. Very, very impressive,” the coach and co-founder of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy told DH

“Sindhu was moving so well, she was controlling the rallies. She never allowed Okuhara to dictate the pace and never allowed her to take charge. That made a big difference. Her approach to the net was very quick and Okuhara had no clue what Sindhu was doing,” he gushed.

While rightfully all the attention will be on the final win, Vimal - under whose tutelage Saina Nehwal climbed atop the world rankings - believes this was coming.

“I thought one of the best matches in the tournament was when Sindhu beat Tai Tzu Ying (in the quarterfinals). That made a big difference. Last time they played (in the World Tour Finals), Sindhu won. That gave her the confidence this time.

“Tai Tzu was very good in the first (game) but then she retrieved well and countered. Smashes, all that. I’m really happy the whole week, the way she played. She was dominant, she thrashed everyone except Tai Tzu.”

Asked if there was any noticeable change in her approach, he said: “It was her week, that form. She peaked at the right time. Full credit to her. Even the Korean coaches are making a big difference, I would give a lot of credit to them as well.”

Having played on the tour and coached for most of his life, Vimal believes that the lanky Hyderabad girl is probably one of the best Indian athletes of her generation.

“This is her third medal (in a row) at the World Championship, she already has two silvers and two bronze. Now the gold. Winning world championships is special. No one had won it from India so that’s a big thing for Indian badminton. She has an Olympic silver. She is one of (the best of) them, but there is still a long way to go.”