Spectators at the Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) were treated to a rare sight, when P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal joined forces during the PSPB inter-unit badminton championship here on Monday.
The two popular stars represented BPCL in a doubles rubber against IOCL’s Sikki Reddy and Aparna Balan, in an outing marked by a few fine rallies.
Despite a game effort, Sindhu and Saina lost a close encounter. “It has been quite a while since Saina and I played doubles together. In the initial stages of the match, we were both a little confused about our roles. We lost 20-22 in the deciding game, but I’m happy that the audience enjoyed the show,” Sindhu said.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medal winner stated that due to their busy schedules, Saina and she does not share a close personal relationship. “When we play against each other, the goal is to win—so there has to be a rivalry between us. Off the court, we are normal. We meet only during tournaments, and say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’. We don’t really talk, because she lives in Bangalore and I stay in Hyderabad. A few years ago, when we were both training at Gopichand Badminton Academy (in Hyderabad), she was a senior, while I used to train with the juniors. So again, we didn’t talk to each other,” Sindhu said.
The 21-year-old stated that badminton players and coaches held a meeting with new Badminton Association of India (BAI) President, Himanta Biswa Sarma, a few days ago. A central contract system, similar to that given to cricketers by the BCCI, was one of the proposals made by the players. “It is a good idea to give contracts to the top players. The players spoke their mind on other matters too,” she said.
Sindhu said that she was thrilled that her story is set to hit the big screen, through a biographical film to be made by actor-producer Sonu Sood. “Sonu and his team have been doing research for the last eight months now. My father is helping them by telling them stories from my life. When people see the movie, they will understand the hard work that I have put in to reach this level. I’m sure that the movie script will stay at least 95 per cent true to my life story,” she said.
Asked if Deepika Padukone—daughter of badminton stalwart Prakash Padukone and a handy shuttler herself—will play her character in the
movie, Sindhu said, “The negotiations are still on, so I leave that choice to Sonu. I’ve met Deepika a few times, but I haven’t seen her play badminton.”
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