Praising Saina Nehwal for clinching the Indonesian Open Super Series title for the second year running, former international shuttler Pradeep Gandhe described the petite Hyderabadi as the best-ever net player produced by the country.
"It's an outstanding feat, an unprecedented one by an Indian, her feat of winning two successive Super Series titles (Singapore Open followed by the Indonesian Open) and the Super Series events are on the same level as the Grand Slams in tennis. She is the best dribbler produced by the country," Gandhe told PTI here.
Nehwal defended her Indonesian Open crown at Jakarta today by subduing young and talented Japanese left hander Sayaka Sato 21-19 13-21 21-11 in a 45-minute see-saw battle.
Gandhe, who is the chairman of the coaches committee of the Badminton Association of India and president of the Maharashtra Badminton Association, revealed how the Haryana-born Nehwal had silenced her critics with her path-breaking victory last June in the same tournament.
"There was criticism from some quarters after she failed to cross the second round in six international tournaments prior to her Jakarta triumph. But we insisted she had the mettle and she has shown it," said Gandhe who is also a member of the BAI selection panel and is one of its vice presidents.
The former shuttler also made it a point to praise the contribution of national coach Pullela Gopichand in Nehwal's achievements.