He has plotted the downfall of many top shuttlers in his pursuit to produce an Olympic champion in Carolina Marin but Spanish coach Fernando Ravis says some of the matches that the current World No. 1 lost to Indian star Saina Nehwal were the most painful as it left him frustrated as a coach.
“There were many difficult moments during the last eight years of her training. We always had to get the best out of the defeats. Some of the matches she lost to Saina were really painful. I had Saina so much analysed that I hated it when she lost to her,” Ravis, who has been involved with the Spanish national set up since 2004, starting immediately after the Athens Olympics, said.
“But it has always been a matter of extracting the right information from the match and also how she has been feeling on court and make it right for next time. Players will make mistakes but what is important is to make them aware when and where they make the mistakes,” he added.
Ravis said it was the men’s doubles gold medal match at Beijing Olympics which motivated him a lot.
“It was very hard to begin it. Yesterday I was watching the men’s doubles match where Kido was playing. He doesn’t know but Kido and Hendra Sitiawan winning the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics final inspired me a lot to be willing to work as hard as I needed to be sitting at the chair in an Olympic final. So that was the match which made me have the hunger, grit, passion and perseverance to work everyday to realise this dream,” he said.
“We had a lot of setbacks in these eight years. When I presented a plan what I wanted to achieve in 2020, people told me crazy and that gave me the motivation to prove them wrong. The problem in Spain is that we don’t have enough coaches and I can’t take care of all the players. That is a main problem which we have to solve in future and not only in singles but also doubles if we have to be competitive in team events.”
Asked about the decline of Chinese badminton, Ravis said: “I think they have been too good for too long and when you are too good for too long you don’t question your methods, may be they need more time to realise that.”
Interestingly, Marin had a difficult time against India’s doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa who grabbed the opening game from the two-time former World Champion.
Asked about the match, Ravis said: “It was pressure. She is a human being and she was feeling pressure. She has emotions and some of them are negative. She was playing a wrong tactical game but she eventually managed to win the trump match against Ashwini.”
Talking about his journey, Ravis said: “I saw a potential champion when I saw her as 13 years old. We got lucky that her parents allowed her to go to National centre and I could shape her according to my coaching philosophy. I always believed that we can deliver. So I have been studying a lot to be far ahead of her badminton knowledge and so that I can give good coaching. I think all credit should go to her.”
On the Premier Badminton League, where he is coaching the Hyderabad Hunters, Ravis said: “It is a great chance for the Indian players to development and get to know the different coaching tactics. I have realised that the training and approach is completely different. How I have to interact with Indians or Europeans or Malaysians is completely different. I hope we have the PBL with all the best players in future. PBL is doing a great job not only for Indians but for the world badminton.”