NEW DELHI: CHIEF coach Pullela Gopichand was a happy man, thanks to the performances of the country’s shuttlers at the India Open. While he praised veteran Parupalli Kashyap for making a comeback after what has been a terrible few months, he felt that PV Sindhu could have done better against He Bingjiao in the women’s singles semis. However, he was not pleased with some of the decisions in one particular match.
It wasn’t about the decision of the players. It is not often that a national coach calls out the standards of umpiring at a BWF tournament. But on Sunday, Gopichand did exactly that, referring to the two service faults called against the men’s doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri during their semifinal encounter against Indonesian pair of Ricky Karanda Suwardi and Indonesia Angga Pratama. Sumeeth and Manu were having a good run in the tournament and barely made any service faults throughout the tournament.
And the crucial calls on Saturday impacted the scoreline. “Barring one or two matches, by and large, it was a good tournament. Very good to see all of them whether it was Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy or Sameer Verma. Many of them lost to each other. I would have liked them to play other opponents. But I think Sumeeth was unlucky also because when you have umpires who don’t call you an entire week and call you on a particular day, there’s something wrong with the standards of umpiring in terms of consistency,” he said.
With doubles badminton making headlines recently with the resignation of Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her, the 45-year-old was satisfied with the kind of performances all the doubles pairs put up in the tournament especially with the players getting very less time to adapt to the ways of the Indonesian coaching duo of Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto. While the players have shown positive signs, Gopi suggested that he would have preferred for Tan to stay if that was an option. “The change in a way was forced on us. And it is too early to say anything.
I am happy that they have trained for a couple of weeks. I have also been involved with the doubles training, in at least organising and strategising how they do it. And it is good that they have come here and got positive results.”