Published: October 9, 2018 1:15:15 pm
Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap’s relationship was kept hush hush in badminton circles for a long time and the pair stayed away from limelight as well. Now that their relationship is out in the open, the female shuttler is not shying away from revealing more about it – including the date of the wedding.
Former World No 1 Nehwal revealed December 16 is the perfect – and only – free time on her otherwise very busy schedule amid Premier Badminton League (PBL) and the race to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“I will get busy with the Premier Badminton League from December 20 and then qualifiers for the Tokyo Games will begin. So this was the only date that we had to get married,” Saina was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Announcement of their marriage was made last month but Saina admitted the relationship goes over a decade back.
“We started travelling for bigger tours from 2007-08 onwards. We played tournaments together, trained together and slowly, started paying more attention to each other’s matches. In the competitive world that we live in, it is difficult to get close to someone. But somehow we both found it very easy to talk to each other, talk about our matches. The feeling gradually grew,” the Jakarta Asian Games bronze medallist said.
“But we didn’t think about marriage before. The career that we pursue is very demanding. It is very important to win tournaments and we didn’t want to shift our focus by getting married earlier. A player needs treatment and attention just like a baby. At home, I get everything without asking, but this will change once I get married. I will be equally responsible of doing things on my own. I didn’t want to rush things before the CWG and Asian Games. But now, we think we are ready for it and can manage things on our own,” she added.
The duo now share time in less of a player-player capacity with Kashyap’s multiple injuries keeping him out of competitive action. However, he is more involved with Nehwal now to train and motivate her. “We keep pushing each other. He is actively playing. But now he is getting into coaching so that he can help me.”
She further stated that it wasn’t tough telling her parents given they already knew. Saina’s father travels with her across the world for tournaments. “Bolne ki zaroorat nahi padi (I didn’t have to tell them). We used to be together most of the time and my parents also travelled with me, so they understood who I was close to and comfortable with even after my losses,” she said.
Saina acknowledged there are three players who she finds difficult to face – Tai Tzu Ying, Carolina Marin and Aakane Yamagachi. Asked to pick one, she singled out Tai as one player who she fails to read. She also admitted it is tough to work towards fixing issues against single players given the busy calendar.
“It is very difficult to decode Tai. She has so many variations. She has a shot for every situation and you have to be really fit to have answers for those shots. She has shots even when she is in trouble. To beat her, you have to be super fit, like how at the moment Carolina is, retrieving all the shots, catching it really high. You have to really make Tai scare of playing those shots, which is not easy. At her best, she can beat anyone below 10 also. She is a player, who is beyond strategies, I feel,” Saina said.
“Every player has one or two opponents to worry about. If I am troubled by Tai or Carolina, I can beat Ratchanok (Intanon), who is a very good player and can beat Tai. But you don’t get time to decode your challenger because of the hectic schedule,” she said.
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