P V Sindhu, looking back at her 2019 BWF World Championships singles title win, pointed out that she benefited from the expertise of new South Korean coach Kim Ji Hyun and national coach P Gopichand, a Dronacharya awardee, at Basel. The player’s father and ex-volleyball international, P. V. Ramana, dwelt on the road ahead for his daughter. The two were in the city for a felicitation function.
Replying to a query about the effect on her approach to matchplay, the World Champion said: “It definitely had a lot (of impact). She (Kim Ji Hyun) had few changes in her mind that really helped me. We worked on that, of course under the guidance of Gopi Sir (Pullela Gopichand). I have really improved on lot of skills. There is a lot more to improve in the coming months.”
The first Indian singles winner at the World Championships, Sindhu talked about the need to retain the surprise factor in her game. “Every time you need to come up with some new things because the other players know your game."
"It is very important to keep changing all the time,” she said, underlining the help from coaches in this direction. “Every coach has a different mindset and they give their inputs. It is an advantage for me.” Korean coach Kim joined the national camp in April at Hyderabad’s Gopichand academy.
Sindhu's father Ramana said: “Sindhu is a hard smasher but the lift is where we wanted her to improve. A little bit of parallel game and the dribble, that is most important. If she gets that confidence and remains injury-free, she has a good chance in the coming tournaments as well.”
ALSO READ| P.V. Sindhu: Indian badminton's golden girl
Elaborating on his daughter’s training routines, he added: “Almost four hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, the coach makes her play on the court. This is apart from the fitness, which takes around two hours. You have net dribbles, smashes. Every Wednesday and Saturday she plays matches with the boys.”
Ramana hoped that the title at Basel would change the perception of Sindhu’s difficulty in winning final matches at major tournaments. “She will get the confidence after winning the World title, but losing in the final was the only one area people constantly spoke about. Tell me how many players manage to reach the finals? That needs to be analysed also.”
“Sindhu said like me, other people (players) are also reaching the final and losing, so it doesn't matter and I need to give my best,” concluded Ramana, talking on the sidelines of Sindhu’s felicitation ceremony by Sahara India Parivar.
The manner in which Sindhu dominated rivals en route to the title at Basel seem to have made people forget about the stumbles in past finals. A nation celebrated with the victor. The applause follows her wherever she goes.