Celebrated badminton stars PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are no longer training at the same venue but at different centres of Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.
Both Sindhu and Saina had been training together at the famed academy ever since the resumed training under Gopichand in September last year after a three-year stint with Vimal Kumar in Bengaluru.
However, the former All England champion and national chief badminton coach has been training his superstar wards separately ever since their return from April's Commonwealth Games, according to The Times of India.
The decision to train them at separate venues comes after both Sindhu and Saina conceded they were no longer comfortable with training together, the reports added.
Gopichand has been allocating separate schedules for his wards, working on their games at two different centres of the academy, situation 500 meters from each other. While Saina is training at Gopichand's new academy that was set up a few years back, Sindhu has shifted to the older one.
Sindhu has been left without enough sparring partners as most of the singles players train at the new academy.
Have no problem, everything is going well: Gopichand
Gopichand though says he is not concerned about the latest development. While maintaining that he has no problem in stretching his schedule for his wards, the Hyderabad tactician said he has had the previous experience of training the shuttlers separately.
"In the interest of the players, our coaching team has taken this decision. I had earlier trained them in separate schedules. We do whatever suits the players best," Gopichand was quoted as saying by the news daily.
"We are comfortable with the schedule. Her practice is going well, Gopi is allocating a lot of time for her. What more can we ask for?" Sindhu's father, PV Ramana, said.
Nonetheless, there will be additional pressure on Gopichand, given the way in which Saina left his academy in 2014. The London Olympic bronze medalist reportedly felt her training "was not up to the mark" before moving to Bengaluru to train under Kumar, one of the chief coaches at Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy.
Saina was not even on talking terms with Gopichand until the Glasgow world championships in 2017 where the two reportedly buried their hatchet.
Days after her bronze-medal winning show at the worlds, the 28-year-old reunited with Gopichand and resumed training at the Hyderabad academy.
The rivalry between Sindhu and Saina has often been of interest to rumour mills but the two shuttlers have always downplayed it. Notably, the Rio Olympic silver medalist recently admitted that they're friends but only the "hi...bye..." types.
Meanwhile, both the shuttlers are gearing up for a busy few months as an array of Super 500, Super 750 and Super 1000 tournaments are scheduled for June. They will travel to Nanjing, China in July for world championships before the much-anticipated Asian Games, starting August 18 in Jakarta.