Sindhu: 'I am glad I featured in such an epic final'

Sindhu, lamenting on missing out on a huge opportunity, compliments Okuhara for her show.

P. V. Sindhu has now two bronze and one silver medals from World Championships.   -  AFP

India’s champion shuttler P.V. Sindhu is known for her grace and poise even in defeat. And, it was no surprise when the 22-year-old hailed the new world champion Nozomi Okuhara, after losing to her in the final in Glasgow on Sunday night.

“I tried my level-best even after the scores were tied at 20-all. It was not my day but hers,” said Sindhu in an exclusive chat with Sportstar from Scotland.

The Rio Olympics silver medallist also admitted that playing in what is said to be the longest women’s singles match in a World Championship was a huge challenge.

Fight for each point

“You had to change gears as quickly and frequently. There was nothing given away by both of us. You had to slog it out to earn every single point. I am glad that I featured in such an epic final,” Sindhu said.

On whether she could have attacked more, the star Indian performer reminded that she was aggressive and tried everything. “It was anybody’s match,” she added.

“To be honest, I was well prepared for a long-drawn out battle for the gold. These matches are never easy, often testing every aspect of your game and your endurance levels too,” said the champion from Hyderabad.

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“I am glad that I changed the colour of the medal (two bronze medals in the 2013 and 2014 editions). But, I am a bit upset at having missed out on a huge opportunity after coming so close to the golden moment,” said Sindhu.

Was there any pressure especially after Saina Nehwal had lost in the semifinals? “Nothing like that. Having played in the Rio Olympics final, I am conscious of the demands of such an important game. I am glad that I could prove a point or two in terms of endurance levels too, lasting such a marathon final and more importantly coming so close to winning it,” Sindhu explained.

Praise for Saina

“It is a great feeling for both of us (Saina and Sindhu) to be standing on the podium. I thought Saina too played well and gave her everything in this championship. Overall, we are really happy with our performance,” said the articulate Sindhu.

There was a feeling that the women’s singles final could have been held back given as the semifinals had been played only a few hours before it. “I have no issues. One has to be prepared for anything. You just have to recover, these things just happen and I blame no one for this, not even the playing conditions or the shuttles,” was Sindhu’s response.

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“If you look back at the match, and especially the decider when the scores were tied 20-all, it was a whole different new feeling for me as it was still anybody’s game. We both fought really hard. I have to come back much more stronger after this classic final,” felt Sindhu.

On comparing Okuhara with other big names, especially from China, Sindhu said each player has her own style and strategy. “Okuhara is a great rally player while most of the Chinese are attacking players. On any given day, you have to come up with your own counter-strategies to get the better of them. However, full credit to Okuhara on winning the championship,” said Sindhu.

“I have to take a lot of positives from this championships, come back stronger and learn a lot more. Winning or losing these kind of matches is part of any sportsperson’s career. What happened here is the past here... now it is time to look ahead,” concluded Sindhu.