Short format kills rallies, says Saina Nehwal

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | CHITRANGADA D C
Published Jan 11, 2017, 1:23 am IST
Updated Jan 11, 2017, 1:27 am IST
Saina, ranked no. 10 currently, believes the shorter format is good for PBL-like leagues which are essentially team events.
Saina Nehwal
 Saina Nehwal

Bengaluru: After ensuring Awadhe Warriors’ semi-final berth with her trump match victory over Bengaluru Blasters’ Cheung Ngan Yi on Monday, badminton ace Saina Nehwal voiced her concern over the Badminton World Federation’s decision to change the format to a short, brisk and intense 11-point game.
Asked her opinion about the shorter format of the game, Saina said, “The format is tough. If anyone takes a six-seven point lead it’s tough to catch up,” Saina said.

“You are going to miss those long rallies which you see in 21-points. But in team event it’s fine because otherwise it would become too long. It’s becoming smash, touch, it takes time to adjust.”

Saina, ranked no. 10 currently, believes the shorter format is good for PBL-like leagues which are essentially team events but not necessarily for singles players.

“I don’t mind playing this format. You can play till 40-45 years. But the rallies will go away, it won’t be fun to watch. Singles will also become like doubles.

“It depends on the players finally. If they object, it won’t change. They also know the importance of the 21-point format. You have to consult the players and see a few tournaments to see how it goes. I think two formats can co-exist, so we can have both together.”

With the Badminton Association of India considering a domestic league, the shuttler appealed to the body to look at hiking prize money in the Super Series also.

“Leagues always have more money than Super Series events. If something like this happens twice a year, then players would only play this. It’s more money and you enjoy it more. So I would want the money to be increased in Super Series so the players get attracted to the system, to badminton,” said Saina.

SMASHERS INTO SEMIS
Chennai Smashers, playing their home leg in Bengaluru, convincingly secured a semi-final berth defeating Mumbai Rockets in the PBL-2 on Tuesday.

Olympic star P.V. Sindhu got the better off Rockets’ Sung Ji Hyun in the fourth match of the tie to hand the Smashers victory with a match to go.

The Smashers dropped a point in the opening match as H.S. Prannoy dismissed Parupalli Kashyap 11-9, 13-11. Having started on the back foot, the Chennai outfit bounced back taking the next two matches.

The mixed doubles tie, the Smashers’ trump match, saw Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock lose in the opening game to Mumbai’s Chirag Shetty and Nadiezda Zieba but the Adcocks got their act together to walk away with the next two games convincingly.


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