‘I didn’t play the Thailand Open because I thought it would be good to train and get prepared for the BWF World Championships because there is not much time left.’

 

 

Rio Olympics silver medallist P.V. Sindhu was closest last month to win a title at the Indonesia Open and end her seven-month winless drought. She started off well at the Japan Open and looked in a decent form but couldn’t advance through the quarter-finals. On both occasions, Sindhu was beaten by Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi.

Later, she pulled out of Thailand Open. With the BWF World Championships round the corner and Tokyo Olympics just a year away, the world number five, in an exclusive chat, tells The Sunday Guardian about her plans for the Olympics, her new coach and what she thinks about IOC’s proposal to boycott the 2022 CWG games in Birmingham.

 

Q. Happy with your current form?

A. I am very happy that I played really well in Indonesia as well as Japan. Even though I lost in the quarter-finals, I think it went on really well. Yes, back home now.

 

Q. Why did you decide to pull out of Thailand Open?

A. I didn’t play Thailand Open because I thought it would be good to train and get prepared for the World Championships because there is not much time.

 

Q. Do you think, sometimes, a break from the game helps? It also gives you time to examine chinks in your game and come out as a better player, perhaps?

A. Not a complete break from the game. Yes, you actually have time to train and get fitter. I train for the whole week and get off on Sundays. I just relax and spend time with my family and with my friends as well. We just go out for dinner or something. That’s about it. I think as a player I really enjoy in what I do. I don’t really think that it’s exhausting or something like that.

 

Q. Coming to the match against Akane Yamaguchi at Indonesia Open and Japan Open, what are the areas you think she did well and performed better?

A. I really played well but then she did well too. It’s just…on that day who plays well and give their best is a winner, is what I feel. Just few mistakes here and there but it went on really well. It’s just that those couple of points in the last game really mattered. If I would have won the first game then it would have been completely different. Overall, it was good but sometimes only one can win. Sometimes you lose and sometimes you win. It’s all part of the game.

 

Q. At times, we observed that she played a very aggressive game. Do you exactly know the areas you need to work on to topple Yamaguchi?

A. Of course, she is an attacking player and she also plays rallies like Japanese players always do but if you actually take them off, it should be fine. It’s not like she is really tough. It’s just that who plays well on that day and give their best. There is not any particular strategy against her. It’s just that you go on the court and change it at that point of time.

 

Q. Tell us how are you preparing for BWF World Championships?

A.I am preparing really well. I hope that this time I can make it.

 

Q. What about the Olympics? We all would love to see silver turning into gold. Do you think our badminton contingent have enough fire power to clinch medals in Tokyo?

A.There is still so much time to think about Olympics. Yes, the ultimate goal would be that but before that the qualifications have started and it’s just step by step for me. For now it’s just the World Championships and it’s just step by step, one at a time.

 

Q. Does it become difficult to not have the presence of Pullela Gopichand in big tournaments? How do you see his decision?

A. I have been training with the Korean coach recently –Kim Ji Hyun. I am comfortable with her. It’s been a couple of months. I am fine with her and she has been travelling with me as well. It’s much more comfortable and good because I actually train with her. She knows what it is and we have practiced together. In one way, it’s really good. She knows my mistakes, what to do and what not to do.

 

Q. What do you think about IOA’s decision to boycott the CWG games? Do you think it will hamper other games and players if Indians doesn’t participate in the 2022 games?

A. I would go with the government’s decision. At the end of the day, it’s their decision. As a player, I will go with them.

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