PV Sindhu avenged her loss in the Glasgow world championship finals to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara by beating her in the final of the Korea Open Super Series to win the title 22-20, 11-21, 21-18.
Okuhara struck back in less than a week by defeating Sindhu in the second round of the Japan Open Super Series. The Times of India Sportsperson of the year (TOISA) winner Sindhu spoke to the Times of India just before her latest loss to Okuhara on her engrossing rivalry with the Japanese champion, her own priorities over the coming year and the importance of taking part in domestic tournaments:
What do you have to say about the Korean Super Series final win? How tough was it for you?
I am really happy that I won the Korean Open. It wasn’t an easy tournament for me. It was a tough task and at no point was it a cake walk. The hardest part about this series in Korea was the long rallies in matches, but I was completely prepared for it.
Do you feel beating Okuhara at Korea Open was sweet revenge?
Yes it was in one way. You can say that Korean Open was sweet revenge.
What do you have to say about Saina Nehwal coming back to Gopichand’s academy?
I can’t say anything, it’s her decision.
Do you feel India’s growing dominance in international badminton is a worrying factor for powerhouses of the game like China?
I feel that India is really doing well at the international front as far as badminton in concerned. I really hope to see many more Indian players coming up to the big stage in the coming years. Indians have improved a lot and also are really doing well so definitely in the coming years we will see more players coming up.
Has badminton become the ideal number two sport for India after cricket?
Yes, definitely. After cricket, badminton has got its due recognition. More people are playing this game, which is good to see.,
For some time before the Korea Open, you were losing big tournament finals and finishing as runners up. How much did that hurt you?
Let me tell you that it is all part and parcel of the game. You win some and you lose some. As a player, when you lose, you tend to learn more from such matches. However, I feel that players should simply believe in themselves and their ability. As a player I know that I have played my best in the last few months. However, failures are part of our career and I have learnt from every time I faltered on the court.
Can India be feared as a great badminton nation until we start winning more gold medals?
Presently, we are doing quite well in badminton. Why should we even think that way of not winning gold medals for our country?
You will play in the national badminton championship in November. How important is it for international players to take part in domestic tournaments?
This is an important tournament for me, just like it is for other players.Yes, I will be taking part in it. For one’s growth it’s crucial to take part in this tournament.
How has your training with Pullela Gopichand helped you become what you are today?
He has been instrumental in my entire growth and for what I am today.
Can you tell us how you plan your week?
I train for six days in a week for eight to ten hours of practice every day .
What is the biggest challenge in badminton for you right now?
It has to be maintaining my physical fitness for the coming tournaments. On the court, as a player I have to read the opponent’s game and plan my strategies based on that.