Following previous setbacks, Sindhu emerged with credit at BWF World Tour Finals beating Nozomi Okuhara 21-19, 21-17.

 

In a wonderfully volatile game of badminton, the world saw P.V. Sindhu topping the podium in Guangzhou last Sunday with a gold medal around her neck. A huge burden had been lifted off her shoulders. The ace shuttler finally shed the chokers tag after losing seven straight finals. Be that as it may, the way she played the game, it seemed there is almost nothing that weighs her down as if almost convinced of her abilities to cross the finishing line. And she is happy to end the year on a high.

Following previous setbacks, Sindhu emerged with credit at BWF World Tour Finals beating 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara 21-19 21-17. With the straight-game victory, the 23-year-old became the first Indian to achieve the milestone. In an interview to The Sunday Guardian, she spoke about how it was to cross the final hurdle and what she did differently this time around.

Excerpts:

Q. How does it feel to finally break the jinx?

A. I am really very happy to break the jinx because in the past I have played the finals seven times and lost them all. But I am glad that this time, I could make it. Besides, it’s also the year’s end and I feel happy about ending it on a beautiful note.

Q. Does crossing the final hurdle becomes more of a mental aspect or is it purely based on your skill-set and how you play the game?

A. Well, it was nothing like a mental aspect but there is a very thin line where sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. So, it was never that pressure, coming to finals and losing them even though people kept asking what’s going on, what went wrong. I think it was just some mistakes here and there; I may have played my best but it just wasn’t my day. I was fitter mentally and physically and I just gave my best in the final this time. I never thought about other finals where I have lost in this match. I was focused and just gave my best, and I did it.

Q. What do you think you did differently this time to win the title?

A. I prepared well for this tournament and everything worked out very well. It wasn’t easy from the first round with players like Akane Yamaguchi, Tai Tzu Ying, Beiwen Zhang, Ratchanok Intanon, Nozomi Okuhara. It was just that we had to be there… each point was important. We had to be there on the court very focused.

Q. How was 2018 overall?

A. 2018 was really good for me and coming to the finals and winning silver is not a small thing. I am definitely happy. This year has been really very good for me, overall.

Q. How excited are you to play for Hyderabad Hunters at the Premier Badminton League?

A. I am happy and excited to play for the Hyderabad Hunters for the first time. And this is also the home team. I am looking forward to the opening match, which will be Hyderabad Hunters vs Pune 7 Aces. We all are going to enjoy it. It’s completely different environment altogether. All the players and team members will enjoy and give their best.

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