PV Sindhu’s performance saw a dip ever since her victory in the finals at the World Championships 2019 in Basel. The Asian Leg was not too good either for the reigning world champion.
Post that it was an improved performance by Sindhu at the All England Open and Swiss Open in March 2021. However, she suffered a one-sided defeat at the hands of Carolina Marin in the final of the Swiss Open and lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in the semi-finals of the All England Open. This however was one of Sindhu’s best performances post-world championships 2019.
Sindhu is ranked number 7 in the world and on the Road to Tokyo rankings.
Sindhu needs to work on recovery says Mr Vimal Kumar
“I feel the best (Olympic) medal prospect is Sindhu, she can and there is still time. She showed some glimpses against Akane Yamaguchi (at All England quarters). But she needs to give more attention to recovery to be ready for the next match because there will not be 24 hours to recover,” Vimal Kumar told PTI.
“Maybe ice bath, there are so many ways to get rid of the lactic acid accumulation after a tough match. If she can look into those aspects, she will be all right. I don’t think she has any fitness issue. She has been very sluggish against Marin and Pornpawee. Between matches what you do, that matters, it is sometimes tough to recover due to the schedule. Look at the tennis players, after 5-6 hours of gruelling matches, they again play five-setters. So recovery really matters,” he said.
“Some top players take ice bath immediately after a match and also before going to sleep. It is very common at the international level…But I think you need to give her some space and she will come back.”
His take on former trainee Saina
“Saina is still injury-prone but she can qualify but it all depends on India Super 500, she has to do well here. It is a very tough job, after India Open, she also has to do well in Malaysia and Singapore,” said Vimal. He had coached Saina from 2014 to 2017 during the time she became world number 1.
Srikanth’s worrying drop in performance
Srikanth has been regarded as the best men’s singles player in India, has been the world number one. However, he has been quite out of form of late for prolonged periods. He’s known to be a player with an aggressive and attacking style.
“He lost to a young french player (Toma Junior Popov) in Orleans Masters and at All England, he lost to a Vietnamese guy from Ireland (Nhat Nguyen). For his standards these are poor results, he needs to find some sort of tactical inputs, employ some strategies, he looks clueless when playing,” Vimal said.
“He was always a player who would come to the net quickly, it was difficult to read his shots when he would jump, he seldom uses those now. Srikanth seems to be under a lot of pressure, I also don’t see the joy in his face, he seems to be tensed always. These factors are letting him down,” Vimal said.
“It is becoming difficult for him (to qualify for Olympics). At India Open, he has to get to semi-finals. He has to reach semi-finals and finals at Singapore and Malaysia to make it to Olympics.”
Srikanth is ranked number 20 in the race to Tokyo, currently out of the direct entry qualifiers, and second-highest ranked for Tokyo after Sai Praneeth.
On being asked if mental condition would help Srikanth, Coach Vimal said, “A mental conditioning coach will help only when he is doing the right training. What physical training he is doing, the on-court sessions, all those things have to balance out. Otherwise, a sports psychologists cannot do any magic.”