After the career high of a world crown in 2019, PV Sindhu has turned her attention to Olympic gold this year. While touching upon a lot of topics around her game and targets during an interview with TOI, the 25-year-old believes that unpredictability is her strength.
The three big targets this year...
Olympic gold will be the first and most important target. Then to become No.1 in the world and win a few of super series titles.
What about All England title? Do you think it has lost its charm?
All England is a prestigious tournament. Every tournament is important, but Olympics is the most important and World championships after that. All England is also on my radar and so I said some of the super series titles.
If you’re asked to choose between 2016 Olympic silver and 2019 World championship title, which one do you like the most?
Both are different memories. In 2016 nobody thought Sindhu will win in Rio. Then Sindhu was just one good player. But now after that silver, the level of recognition and responsibility is quite high. This world title also no one expected me to win. Both are very different from each other and very good memories.
Do you think 2019 could have been better?
I wanted to win a few more super series titles. But then, I am happy as I won the World championships gold, Indonesia silver. It’s been a good year.
You won only one title (Worlds) last year and lost in the first and second rounds of several tournaments. Your opponents think that you are unpredictable…
Unpredictability is my strength. I feel it is good thing. It depends on the day, the shuttle, surroundings, drift etc. But I never felt bad about my early round losses. Despite first-round losses, the belief that I will play well in the next tournament is very strong. World championship is a very happy moment.
How do you suddenly raise your game in big tournaments. It happened in 2013, ’14, ’16 and ’19?
I don’t know how I play well in big tournaments. Or if it is a good sign or a bad sign. But I am happy that I play well in big tournaments. So I want it to be like that always. It’s not that I want to lose small tournaments and win only the big ones. Sometimes luck also matters. I lost matches when I had big lead and I also came back from big deficits.
How do you look at women’s field in 2020?
Now the top 10 to 15 players are of the same standard. They are so many best players from different countries. Tai Tzu (Ying), (Nozomi) Okuhara, the Korean girls, Ratchanok Intanon, Chen Yu Fei, etc. All of them prepare well. On that day we have to give our best. If plan ‘A’ doesn’t work, we have to come up with plan ‘B’. There is no particular strategy.
Your match against Tai is being billed as the match of PBL…
Everyone in PBL are waiting for the match between me and Tai Tzu. It’s definitely going to be a good match. PBL has always been very interesting and exciting because it is a team event. It happens only once in a year and there will be different players and we have to play for the team. The atmosphere is very different, the support we get from the team and the assistance we get from different coaches is all quite different. They will tell their views, point out our mistakes and these small things will add to our game.
The Taiwanese player was unbeatable for a long time but now people are able to read her game well. The game is constantly changing. If I play a certain type of game in one tournament, I will play a different game the next time. It is a challenge to steal the point from the opponent. We have to consistently find where the opponent is vulnerable and catch them unawares. It is very important.