The Ghost Rider | Sports News, The Indian Express
A federation with which she does not correspond with vivacity, seniors in sport and administration to whom she does not bow down, other players with whom she has always remained on the sidelines because it is her deep nature, fans who wrinkle their noses at his indulgence in selfies and detractors annoyed by his baffling political immersions. Nehwal has learned to park at the T and scatter the minds of opponents across the court with her clever angles when playing badminton. But over the past few months she’s come to realize how far she’s gotten herself into a lonely corner, not sticking to the role of the shrunken flower of a fading former star, who is meant to be humiliated by the aging of her body. and diminishing of his prowess on the pitch.
The festive return from the bottom to the dumps has come and gone – with bronze at the World Championships in 2017 and medal at the Asian Games in 2018. It is now expected to wither away and make way for young talent , cooler legs. The little problem is that she always digs a good bit of badminton – the only thing she’s known as a monk – and travels the world, looking for that comeback to win the Top Tenners. Why the world could have a problem with that is a question that puzzles her – given that she’s the one who spends the quiet hours in rehab, taping her knees like the wall of a child doodles, then walking across the field to play. – in the few points she can – with the new Chinese and Japanese. The old Chinese and Japanese – his contemporaries, are a few seasons away from their retirement. But Saina Nehwal refuses to slowly slip away into the night. Even after being told in the most blunt terms, the country does not need his services at the Commonwealth Games.
It’s all of these things that highlight what husband-coach Parupalli Kashyap calls “a backlog of losses and emotion” as she stands there at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, watching a 20-18 advantage in the quarter-finals of the decision maker. Aya Ohori isn’t a particularly scary southpaw, although she can pick up the pace on rallies and tries to move Nehwal’s front and back corners, sideways. But the Indian kept her head held high and stood on the 19-16 threshold of the decider, despite losing the first set.
Nothing was missing physically to reach 20-18 against an opponent, six years his junior, until this moment. Nor a tactical blunder waiting to catch up with her. There is nothing to explain the next four points that Ohori tackles, as Nehwal crumbles before puzzled and confused eyes in the stadium and on TV. Nothing but the accumulation of emotions – of a former world No. 1 who is fighting just as hard, has in fact finished a previously one-dimensional match and is on the cusp of a semi-final which she has terribly want. It’s the complete annihilation of the confidence that once shone with such assurance that a more famous southpaw than Ohori, Carolina Marin, needed to swallow a sip down her throat before taking the court against her. It’s the bursting of a self-confidence born from humility, the cold shoulder and the ghosts of those she assumed were her puzzle pieces, Kashyap believes.
Ohori played out of her skin closing the game 21-13, 15-21, 22-20 and fell to the ground in relief. Saina Nehwal stood there, swallowing her emotion, as another 20-19 situation left her on the dire side of the market. It is the 13th time in 15 cases of 20-19 or 22-21, over the last three years, that Saina Nehwal has tasted such a defeat.
That she puts herself in this position to fight – at times holding match points and wasting them, at others giving it her all but nonetheless falling in the fight in vain – is a testament to the unwavering desire of Nehwal to play and win. The crumbled confidence is what makes headlines and social media updates, however.
Precise execution of strategy and a body that could support his game plan of parrying two separate left-handed games – He Bingjiao being totally different in his shots and style from Ohori – defined the two hour-long contests.
Indonesia’s badminton twitter, the world’s most talkative and observant, was in turmoil on Thursday after Nehwal beat He Bingjiao over the ‘2008 vintage’ star (when she played at the Beijing Olympics), marveling at how despite her slow footwork, she was still having a right to go to the Chinese summit. 2008 is what Indonesians associate with their beloved double legend Hendra Setiawan – half dads. Nehwal, who scored a hat trick in the Indonesia Open final, is quite a favorite at the hallowed stadium of Istora, but Jiao’s win sent shivers down the spine from much younger fans watching her on the results of ten years ago.
So, where is his game, really? Saina Nehwal can confuse the best in the world just by sheer force of mental aggression and composure. The smash kill isn’t too shabby in fast shuttle courts. She’s played a handful of three passers and isn’t backing down from a breakthrough game if things get to 15 everywhere.
She didn’t often win between the ages of 20 and 19. Still reeling from how she was treated by a country that was too eager to reject her and move on (no one knows which player is next), perhaps the crisis of confidence left an irreparable crack in the miror. Nehwal and Kashyap think she can still claim the title, and she can improve to 60%. She still thinks she can lead PV Sindhu closely in the delightful domestic rivalry. The door slammed in his face – you can still hear his persistent knocking. Knowing Saina Nehwal, she would like to open it rather than wait for someone to politely invite her. Even the best teachers know that this particular quality cannot be taught.