Vimal Kumar is known to speak his mind and has always done so with authority — as a player, chief national coach and later, co-founder and director of the Prakash Padukone badminton academy in Bangalore. So, when he says that India's badminton ace Saina Nehwal, his latest high profile ward, can become World No 1 soon, one must take him seriously. (Also read: Chinese media plays down Saina, Srikanth whitewash)
When Nehwal decided to move away from her long-time coach and former all-England champion Pullela Gopichand just before the Incheon Asian Games and chose Vimal, it raised eyebrows.
For two-time former national champ Vimal however, “it was a simple change just like a move in the corporate world.” Change is the key word to Saina's success under Vimal, that saw her recently conquer the mighty Chinese in their own den by winning the China Open Super Series. In an interview with mid-day, Vimal highlights the significant changes in Saina's approach that can take the World No 5 to the top of the world.