P.V. Sindhu sets sight on All England Championships

After having a rather successful outing last year, Sindhu is brimming with confidence for the tournaments in 2019.

P.V. Sindhu ended 2018 with a title win at World Tour Finals.   -  Nagara Gopal

India’s badminton ace P.V. Sindhu has set her sights on the All-England Badminton Championships, which begins from March 6.

Last week, she crashed out of the Indonesia Masters after bowing down in the quarterfinals, but Sindhu has already started preparing for the All-England event.

“It is one of the biggest tournaments. I hope I give my best and play well. I know it is not going to be easy. I think we have to be at our 100 per cent,” she said on Thursday after becoming the brand ambassador for PNB MetLife.

Before flying out to England, she will feature in the senior national championships, which will be held in Guwahati from February 10. “After that we have couple of Super Series and then we start with our Olympic qualifications. I think this year we have to keep ourselves fit and healthy,” she said.

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After having a rather successful outing last year, Sindhu is brimming with confidence for the tournaments in 2019. “I am very happy that 2018 has ended on a very good note. But 2018 is over, now it is 2019. It is a fresh year, new year and new resolutions, and I hope that I will just give my best and just play my game. I aim to improve a lot more, and I am quite confident about that,” she said.

“But I shouldn’t be over-confident in that way thinking that I can win against anybody. I think on that day who plays well and gives their best is the winner. I feel, the top 1 to 10 players are of same standard in the world. Each point is very important.”

But does playing known opponents make the job a bit easier?

“That doesn’t help in one way,” she said.

“It is both actually. There are advantages and disadvantages where you can't apply the same strategy again and again. And another thing is you have played with them a couple of times, know what it is. If Plan A doesn't work, you can go with Plan B. There is no particular strategy with everyone. You have to strategise accordingly because even they know your game. Also you know their game,” she said.

An injured Carolina Marin will be out of action at All-England championships. Will that help her and Saina Nehwal in any way?

“She had a knee surgery. It is definitely a sad moment, but injuries are part of life. Definitely she will comeback stronger. I wish her a speedy recovery. I just can't say it is a good chance. Definitely it is not going to be easy,” she said.

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“Because the top 10 to 15 players are of same standards. One cannot think its going to be an easy draw or its going to be a cakewalk. Because every match is important and is equally tough. Every player has different style of play and I think now the Chinese are doing well,” she said, drawing reference to Chen Yufei, He Bingjiao. “Korea's Sung Ji Hyun, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand are (also) doing well. So there are a couple of players from every country who are doing well,” she said.

On keeping the intensity and motivation going?

Sindhu admits that it’s quite a challenge. “It is very important to keep yourself motivated all the time, because there are ups and downs which are always there. You win some and you lose some, but that is always when you have to be strong, go back and learn from your mistakes and comeback stronger,” she said.

“Its not that you lose and then its over. But you have to think, that its over and you have to think about another thing. In this process, there might be injuries. To keep yourself fit, you will have to keep training physically and mentally,” the Olympic silver medalist said.