Fernando Rivas, the coach of reigning Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin and now the coach of Hyderabad Hunters in the PBL, feels that the rivalry between Marin and PV Sindhu has created a buzz in the badminton circles and hopes to see it go as long as it can. He also opined his views on the BWF’s new service rule and its’ clause of mandatory of 14 tournaments to all international players and much more in an interview with Shiva Krishna Gundra.
On Sindhu-Marin rivalry
It is good. It makes the game more interesting. On-court, they are rivals but they are friends off the court. That is great. I know Marin and I can talk about her. Some people don’t like the way Marin approaches the game. She screams during the matches. Even she does that, they are very good off the court. I don’t think Sindhu is mad at her for her on-court screaming. I hope the rivalry to continue for ever, till they stop playing badminton. Their rivalry is good for the game.
On the difference in Sindhu’s game from Rio Olympic final
She is more consistent now. She can rally more. She has a better reach. She has a very strong attack and she will always have it. She works on her rallies little more now.
On BWF’s stand on 2018 schedule
I don’t like to make things compulsory. If you have the players paid for tournaments and the flight, and then of course you have to attend compulsory. But it is between the players to and BWF. BWF should make tournaments more attractive so that the players don’t want to miss out on them.
On new service rule
I think it is not fair. I don’t like it at all. It is like penalising the tall players. The tall players have to duck when they serve. I think something has to be done for the service. There were so many misjudgments. But making a rule like that is not good in my opinion.
On decline in Chinese domination
I think it is only a gap. I am sure they will be back. They are intelligent enough to reconsider their approach and I am sure they will be back.
On only one Chinese player in PBL
I would like to see more of them here. That would be a very good news for PBL and for badminton. At least we have one player now. I hope next year we can have more Chinese players. They are used to these types of team matches in Chinese league. It will be helpful for the level of game.
On his teaching methods
We have to make coaching interesting and find different ways to encourage the players. If we make a player do one thing over and over again, it becomes boring.
On the game back in Spain
Unfortunately, the game back in Spain is the same like it was before the Rio Olympics. Marin’s Olympic gold medal didn’t do much of a difference. In terms of development for the badminton association there is no difference. Nothing much was done for the growth of the game. In terms of media attention, it did a lot. Marin is a celebrity now and people know what badminton is. But participation wise, not so great.
On playing in PBL
Playing one extra tournament doesn’t make a big difference. I don’t think playing in PBL will give away a player’s strengths and weaknesses.
On Hunters’ campaign
We sent a clear message to the players. When we lost 0-5, we were not bad as we looked and when we won 6-(-1), we are not as good as we looked. We have to be focused till the end to win the PBL title. The players are really motivated to do well. I hope the home crowd comes in huge number to support us as the stadium.
On Saina Nehwal’s game
I don’t consider her game on what happened few days before (her loss to Marin). She is a brilliant player. I heard she had physical problems a few days ago. That must be the reason. She was the bronze medallist in the World Championship. She will be there until she wants to retire. I think she will quit badminton but badminton will not quit her.