Reigning World Champion PV Sindhu said she is not looking too much into an apparent decline in form in recent months and that she if focussing on staying injury-free in the lead-up to Tokyo Olympics.
PV Sindhu created history when she became the 1st Indian shuttler to win a gold medal at the World Championships in August. Since then, Sindhu has faced an array of early exits.
At China Open Super 1000, Sindhu was ousted in the 2nd round and she faced first-round exits at Korea Open and Fuzhou China Open. In fact, Sindhu has not gone past the 3rd round in tournaments that followed the world meet in Basel.
On Wednesday though, Sindhu came up with an improved performance to beat South Korea’s Kim Ga Eun 21-15, 21-16 to progress to the 2nd round of Hong Kong Open Super 500.
Speaking after the win over Kim Ga Eun in Hong Kong, Sindhu said she needed some time to settle down after the “much-awaited” World Championships win.
“I was really happy with the way I played the World Championships. After it was over it took me some time (to settle down), because it was a much-awaited win for me, and it didn’t sink in. I’ve been playing OK, I don’t have much to complain about, that I was mentally low or anything,” Sindhu was quoted as saying by BWF badminton.
PV Sindhu rubbished concerns around commercial commitments and felicitations eating into her preparation time, saying her popularity has only helped the badminton scene improve in the country.
Sindhu will head into BWF Tour Finals as the defending champion. The top 8 shuttlers will battle for the year-end title in Guangzhou from December 11.
“Those things (felicitations) will be there but I don’t have much to complain about. I think I will enjoy it as it comes. I give importance to training. I’m in the limelight because of this. A lot of people look up to me for motivation. After Rio it’s been completely different. Indian badminton – women and men, and even doubles – has been growing really well,” Sindhu said.
“I’ve been training, I want to be fit as this is an Olympic year. Mistakes happen, but fitness-wise things have been fine.”
Having brushed aside her first-round opponent, Sindhu will take on Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan on Thursday in Hong Kong. Sindhu will be hoping to go the distance in the Super 500 tournament and register her first title on the tour before the season-ending Tour Finals.