Principal Correspondent

HYDERABAD: “It is a very special moment for me. This victory has proved once again how Saina has improved by leaps and bounds in the international circuit in recent times,” national coach P. Gopi Chand told the The Hindu.

“The fact that Saina happens to be the first Indian shuttler to win this title gives me greater satisfaction,” added Gopi. “The hunger to win and the confidence with which she enters the court of late stands out now,” he said.

“It is not always easy for her to keep winning and that she is still managing to do so is an indication of her ability to withstand pressure,” said Gopi. “She is certainly more attacking and very aggressive now,” he said.

Not surprised

Dronacharya S.M. Arif says that he is not surprised by Saina’s performance. “She has been improving every day in the circuit. The best part is the dramatic improvement in her speed on the court. This should take her a long way on the circuit,” he said.

“The fact that she has been winning titles consistently is the key to her future endeavours. I only wish she improves her backhand for much better results,” he added.

Our Bangalore Correspondent reports

Prakash Padukone and former National chief coach U. Vimal Kumar hailed Saina’s feat as an “outstanding achievement”.

Padukone said, “The hallmark of Saina’s game has been her consistency.

“Maybe she can get a little faster but otherwise she has all the attributes needed to be a champion, including strokes and tenacity.

“She doesn’t give away points easily and is unafraid of any top rival. She is already in the top 10 with this win I guess and is bound to rise further,” he added.

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper