P.V. Sindhu is all set for action. After soaking in all the adulation and the heaps of cash awards she received after her silver in the Rio Olympics, she is ready to step on to the court and win more laurels. In fact, the 21-year-old Hyderabadi will be back in action when she plays in the Japan Open Super Series championships which gets underway in Tokyo from next Wednesday.
Sindhu, who is the fifth seed for the tournament, is likely to play Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin in the semi- finals. Carollina is the top seed in this sixth Super Series event in the world badminton series.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Sindhu was quick to say that all the party and relaxation was behind her. “I received a great welcome home after my Olympic feat and I was overwhelmed at the reception I got wherever I went. But now, all that is over. I and coach Pullela Gopichand have put in some hard work and I am rearing to go and perform at the Japan Open Super Series,” she said.
Sindhu also said that she was eager to take on Carolina again. “We both played a great match in the finals at Rio. I think she won then because she managed to play the bigger points better. I am thirsting for revenge and am looking forward to playing her again,” said Sindhu.
On her preparation for the Japan Super Series, Sindhu said she was happy with it. “Realistically speaking, I would have loved to get some more practice. But then, I put in some hours of real hard work and I am confident of putting up a good show,” she said.
Asked which title she wanted to win most, Sindhu did not bat an eyelid. “For me, I will be concentrating on winning the All England championships. This meet (the All England) is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and from my childhood days, I had dreamt of winning this title. The fact that my coach Gopichand has also won it makes me doubly determined to lay my fingers on this title,”Sindhu said.
Sindhu also took some time to recall her preparation for the Olympics and also how she played in Rio.”Each one of the rivals have their own style and technique and I have played against them previously. We prepared strategies before every game which worked to my favour,” she said.
“There were no tournaments in the past two months, which helped us in the preparations. Each and every day, the focus was on the Olympics.”
Asked to pick out the toughest match, Sindhu said, “Each and every match was equally tough..it’s not that I can single out any of the opponents as an easy one. I just believed in myself while facing the higher-ranked players,” said the World No.10.
It must be mentioned here that Sindhu had scored wins over World No.6 Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying and World No.2 Wang Yihan of China in the pre-quarterfinal and quarterfinal respectively before setting up the summit clash with World No.1 Carolina Marin of Spain.
Recollecting her match against Carolina in the gold medal encounter, Sindhu said the Spanish shuttler came back with great aggression despite losing the first game.
“It was a great match overall..she is a naturally aggressive player and having played with her before, I knew she would fight hard to bounce back, which she did in the second.
“The third game went on an equal fight till 10-10 and then I gained 3-4 points before she came back to gain the lead. By the time I managed to catch up with her, she went on to win it. It’s an Olympic final, so anyone will try hard to go for the gold,” the Hyderabadi said.
Earlier this week on Monday , Sindhu was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award — the highest sporting honour in the country — by President Pranab Mukherjee at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.