Looks like Prasen and Gautam are hell-bent on saving me from typing today
Saina and Sindhu had a good support system pretty much all along right from a very early stage. Gopi took lead on providing them most of the basic necessities and to a large extent kept them isolated from things like sponsorships, scheduling etc. By saying this, I am in no way trying to belittle their dedication and achievements...especially their Olympic wins and relatively consistent career so far.
Sania - though lacked in having a solid foundation to her game- benefited from quite a few factors that favored her. She had GVK who sponsored her earlier years almost unconditionally (this is just hearsay with no facts for me to backup). Her forehand (which was feared by everyone on tour) certainly is a freak of nature, no doubt about that. From a very early age, she got a chance to regularly train abroad (Bob Brett academy?) and had enough exposure to realise what it would take to get to the top. To a large extent, her parents planned her career really well too. That they are financially better off than most of her peers might have helped a bit as well. However, my biggest pet peeve about her was, she refused to hire a full-time coach during her prime when she was loaded with money. We had Jay (where is he BTW?) throwing out all sorts of theories about why she wouldn't do that
. This decision of hers really annoyed me to no end. At 21-22, she could still have easily fixed her biggest liability - the serve. She has a very good return game which (along with her forehand) took her to 27! I agree that she is a pioneer and has achieved a lot higher than any other female Tennis player from India. But to say that she did so overcoming a lot of adversities is something I do not agree. Just on pure potential, Yuki and Sania have to be probably on par. While Yuki's earlier career (even after discounting his perennial injuries) was grossly mismanaged, Sania's team did a fantastic work on that front doing many things right!
gbelday wrote:...Sports Science was and still is sort of non-existent in India. The fact that she reached that level (top 30 in singles) in spite of all those deficiencies is remarkable and should say something about her will as a sportswoman. If that's not greatness, I don't know what is. No other woman tennis player (from India) has achieved anything close to what she has achieved (at least in the modern era).
...Saina and Sindhu are lucky to get the coaching that they get. A proper academy, a good peer group to train and travel with etc. I am so glad that they have those opportunities but I do wonder sometimes on how far they would have gone without Gopi. If they faced the same issues that Sania faced.
Look at all those key words in there...lack of sports science, Will, proper academy, access to coaching and infrastructure, peer group to train with...on and on and on!
Dipa did this despite all of those. That too, being based out of one of the remote and non-prime areas of India. She had chosen a sport which is one of the most dangerous sports where one slight twist or turn could not just end your aspirations, but could potentially make you paralyzed or dead! She plied such a trade on primitive equipment that wouldn't be acceptable even in a recrational facility in most parts of the world. To overcome all these and coming inches closer to get to an Olympic podium is what made me fall for her! In my eyes, this girl is pure gold!
P.S.: If you like my theory, please type "Varma is a nut case" and send it to #565 from your Idea mobile. You can also share this on a social media platform of your choice with hashtag #LunaticOnTheLoose
. Nah...just vote for Dipa