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Momentum key in Thomas, Uber Cup: Gopichand

Momentum key in Thomas, Uber Cup: Gopichand

P. Gopichand

P. Gopichand

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand believes that momentum will be the key at the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cups to be held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here May 18-25.

“In team matches the momentum is very important. If we go 2-0 up in a tie then the pressure is on the opponent but if you are 0-2 down, your morale will be low which could be a disadvantage. So it will be important to start well to get the momentum. If you get a big win on Day 1, then your morale is really high for the next two days,” Gopichand said here Thursday.

The former All-England champion said that India’s strength, in both the competitions, is singles and his wards can pull off a tie with just singles play if they play to their potential.

A Thomas/Uber Cup tie consists of three singles and two doubles matches and India have drawn Germany, Malaysia and South Korea in a tough Thomas Cup Group C.

“We should look at three straight singles wins against South Korea. Against Malaysia we would look at two singles and one doubles and against Germany we can look at all three singles and have a chance in both the doubles too,” said Gopi, who was awarded India’s third highest civilian honour – the Padma Bhushan — earlier this year.

This is the first time India is hosting the two esteemed events. For players to acclimatise to the conditions, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has organised a week-long training camp that started here Thursday.

“Team matches are different. Home court could be an advantage or disadvantage as the pressure works both ways. The camp will help us to get used to the conditions, shuttle speed among other things which is important,” added the 1998 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.

The Dronacharya awardee also credited the Indian Badminton League (IBL) for being useful as a team event to prepare for the Cups and added that the shuttlers are more than eager to perform against the best in the world.

“The level we are looking at is the highest in the world. I don’t see our players expecting easy matches. They have played pressure matches at the IBL. They have played as a team in IBL and that experience will be helpful,” said the 40-year-old.

“All of them want to perform and have the desire to do so. How much they are able to control the nerves and how much they want to push and not feel the pressure in the court is what is going to count. All of them are very serious and focussed and want to do well badly.”

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