Hyderabad: In a country which had seen the likes of Saina Nehwal ruling the world of badminton, a Prakash Padukone and a Pullela Gopichand dominating the shuttle sport it would be surprising to note that none of these legends could match PV Sindhu when it comes to World Championships.
Sindhu is the only Indian to win back-to-back medals at the Worlds and what makes it more interesting is the fact that the shuttler has just turned 20 last month. The lanky shuttler, who won bronze medals at the 2013 and 2014 championships, will be keen to achieve a hat-trick at Jakarta next week. Formwise Sindhu will not have any chance as she is making a comeback from injury after losing a number of weeks to recovery.
Call it an asset or a strength but when you describe Sindhu you cannot forget to link her with unpredictability. The ferocious players who likes to unnerve her opponents with powerful smashes is known for living dangerously.
She takes big risks when the situation demands a calm approach. May be that could be the reason why she was able to fell giants like Li Xuerui, Wang Yihan and Shixian Wang when they were enjoying a purple patch. Without doubt Sindhu is one player who created a lot of cracks in the Chinese wall. Being in form or getting into rhythm hardly matters for her as she can beat anyone on her day.
A month after Xuerui won the Olympic gold she beat her without much difficulty at China Masters. In 2013, she dethroned world champion Wang Yihan and downed two-time All England champ on her way to first bronze at the worlds. She repeated the same sort of performance to collect another bronze in 2014.
Despite losing to lower ranked players, she managed to win medals at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Uber Cup. With Sindhu you never know when she comes up with a breathtaking performance.
Next week too she needs one big victory to end up on the podium. After a bye in the first round, Sindhu is likely to face Xuerui in the prequarters. “That’s the toughest match for me. Facing Xuerui will be tough for everyone. But I will give my best,” said Sindhu, adding that she has no fitness concerns now.
“I am fully fit and have recovered well from the injury. I am practicing very hard to come up with a good show at the Worlds,” she added.
On if the chance to achieve hat-trick is adding more pressure, she said, “Everyone is talking about the hat-trick. But I am not feeling any pressure. It’s exciting to participate and winning medals at the Worlds.”
The Hyderabadi is keen on sharpening her strokes and tightening her defence. “Defence is one area I need to improve. We spent quite some time on improving that aspect and also sharpening some of the strokes. We always need to improve and improve there is a lot of scope for that. I also need to be consistent. Let us see how it works,” she said.
— Manne Ratnakar,TNN