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Tine Baun wants P.V. Sindhu to perfect her game

Danish badminton legend says India’s rising star has age on her side

Gulf News

New Delhi: Danish badminton great Tine Baun says that despite P.V. Sindhu’s successful outing at the World Championships, she still has some way to go.

Having beaten Sindhu in their only match at the Malaysia Open Super Series in January, the retired Dane believes that Sindhu still needs to finetune her game despite getting into the top 10 of the world rankings on Thursday, whereas Saina Nehwal is already among the top players.

“Both Saina and Sindhu are very aggressive players like me. Sindhu’s height helps her in attacking but overall Saina is very good. Don’t forget, Sindhu is young and is still learning,” the former World No 1 told IANS.

“When Sindhu loses a few points here and there, she gets defensive. She has age on her side and she is coming along on the right lines. One has to give it to Saina for doing so well. She gives her 100 per cent every time she steps on the court. Moreover, she has been in the top-five for many years and to sustain for so long is very tough considering the high level of competition,” said the three-time All-England Open champion.

Asked how Sindhu can get to the top and remain there like Saina, Baun said: “Now that she has done so well, she shouldn’t relax. She should try to get better as all her opponents will read her game. Her aim now should be to get into the top five. She has done really well to beat so many top players in a very short span of time and definitely has a bright future. Her strength in a game of high quality is power and that’s why she could stand up to the Chinese.”

On the falling standards of India’s doubles play, Baun said it is possible that when players excel in one category they tend to somewhat ignore the other forms of the game.

“When a country is having good results in one category, the focus will be on that. Like in Denmark, we have a tradition of producing fantastic doubles players because there have been icons to look up to. So, may be in India, badminton is missing doubles role models to motivate the juniors,” said Baun, a two-time European Champion.

The 34-year-old, who called it a day after winning the prestigious All-England title in March, has gone back to the classroom to study. She says she now has all the time to enjoy with her family.

“I am studying right now and, for the first time in many years, I went on a vacation with my family for two weeks... so it is a different life and I am loving it. Of course, at times I miss the court and stadium atmosphere, but the Indian Badminton League (IBL) has given back some of that feeling,” said the former World Championship bronze medallist, who plays for Mumbai Masters.

Didn’t she get tempted to continue playing after winning the All England? “No, I had made up my mind to hang up my racquet with All-England. Anyway, at 34, there was not much badminton left in me and I couldn’t have dreamt of a better ending to my career,” she signed off.