About a month ago, PV Sindhu created waves by winning the World Championships bronze. She was hailed as Indian badminton’s new face and was spoken about on the same platform as Saina Nehwal.
But, almost a week after the end of the IBL, it’s still Saina who is dear to all the budding shuttlers in the city.
Shanaya Wagh, 15, of Balmohan school chooses Saina over Sindhu following her unbeaten record in the IBL and playing a lead role in Hyderabad Hotshots winning the title. “To see Saina fight even if the opponent is on match-point, is simply motivating.
In that sense, Sindhu is too casual in her approach,” Shanaya said.
Riya Arolkar, Mumbai’s top-ranked U-14 player, loves Saina for a different reason. “Saina plays more forehand attacking shots, something that I have learnt from watching her. She’s also very clever, knowing exactly when to be on the offensive. Sindhu is still inexperienced.”
Sanaa Gore-Datar of Bombay Scottish School was one of the lucky few to have met Saina at her hotel room. “Saina is unfazed by the attention she gets. She spoke with me as if she knew me for ages,” says Sanaa.
Whether it is Saina or Sindhu, the badminton interest in tremendous, going by the rise in MSSA schools tournament’s entries from 630 to 850.