Sindhu stronger than Saina: World No. 1 Tai

Tai Tzu-ying, who is here to play for Ahmedabad Smash Masters in her first Premier Badminton League (PBL) appearance, feels Sindhu is more of a threat due to her height.

The 23-year-old had a fabulous 2017 decorated with five Superseries titles – All England, Malaysia Open, Singapore Open, French Open and Hong Kong Open – and the Asian championship crown.   -  AFP

Taiwanese Tai Tzu-ying, who has maintained her No. 1 ranking for more than one year and is all set to finish the second consecutive year as the top-placed women's singles shuttler, feels P.V. Sindhu is a stronger opponent compared to Saina Nehwal.

Tai, who is here to play for Ahmedabad Smash Masters in her first Premier Badminton League (PBL) appearance, feels Sindhu is more of a threat due to her height. “It should be Sindhu (who is tougher) – because she is tall, powerful and her speed is fast,” Tai, who had lost to Sindhu in the Rio Olympics prequarterfinals, told Sportstar on Monday.

Interestingly, Tai has an 8-3 win-loss record against Sindhu and 8-5 against Saina.

The 23-year-old, who had a fabulous 2017, decorated with five Superseries titles – All England, Malaysia Open, Singapore Open, French Open and Hong Kong Open – and the Asian championship crown, said everyone in the top-10 of world rankings was tough to beat. “Every opponent is strong. They are of the same level.”

Instead of nurturing the fear of losing her number one status, Tai was focused on continuing with her good work which fetched her tremendous success. “In 2017, I played very stable and performed well...It is about the mind. I remain relaxed during training and tournaments without thinking too much.”

Tai said she needed to become better to be able to tackle so many quality opponents and maintain her status as one of the leading sportspersons in her country. “In Taiwan, basketball and baseball are the most famous sports. I am the most famous badminton player in Taiwan but the sport, badminton, is not very famous.

“I have to keep training well to find out what I need to do in the tournaments and improve.”

Tai, who is yet to earn a podium finish in the World championships and the Olympics, did not want to put pressure on herself. “I just hope to try my best in every match. I do not think too much (ahead).”

Sharing her impression about India, Tai said, “I love Indian curry. I like India and want to start the league well.”