It was a bad day in office for Saina: Gopichand
New Delhi: Saina Nehwal`s shock loss in the pre-quarterfinals of the India Open has left many disappointed but national coach Pullela Gopichand does not want to read too much into the straight-game defeat.
Coming into the tournament, a lot was expected from the 22-year-old Indian as it was the only Super Series tournament at home and she was desperate to win before the home crowd.
But Saina`s hopes came crashing when she bowed out rather meekly to world number 12 Youn Joo Bae of Korea 19-21 10-21, much to the disappointment of the vociferous crowd which had thronged the Siri Fort Stadium yesterday.
It was the same place where Saina had created history by clinching the gold medal during the Commonwealth Games two year ago but her performance in the following years at the same venue was rather forgettable.
Saina was in tears here last year when she crashed out in the opening match after losing to Japan`s Ai Goto and this year, it was Youn Joo who spoilt her chances.
However, Gopichand felt it was just an off day for the Olympic-bound Indian ace.
"I don`t want to read too much into Saina`s match. Actually there is no particular reason to pin-point why she lost. I believe it was just another off day for her," he said.
Gopichand said Saina was suffering from cold and physically she was down.
"She was also going through cough and cold in the last few days. She was just tired, not mentally but physically."
Asked how Saina would take the defeat in her stride? Gopichand smiled and said, "We don`t have the luxury to brood on our defeats. We have to quickly forget the defeat, remain positive and move ahead."
Four-time world champion Lin Dan of China, who is bidding for his second straight Olympic gold, has been following Saina`s performance during tournaments and had some nice things to say about the Indian.
The Beijing Olympic gold medallist said Saina`s work ethics and ability to not baulk down by the Chinese challenge makes her a formidable opponent for the dragon brigade.
"Saina is a very good player. She is very hard working and a tough opposition to beat (even for the Chinese). I wish her all the luck for the London Games," said the Li Ning brand ambassador.
The world number 2, who is nursing a waist injury, also had a word for praise for the current crop of Indian men`s shuttlers on the international stage and said he won`t be surprised to see many of them performing consistently on the international stage.
"Indian men`s singles players are coming up very fast. You can see a lot of Indian men`s singles players are very good. I think the advantage of them is that they are very young," he added.