Unfazed by final losses, Sindhu eyes medal at Worlds and Asiad

This year, Sindhu has reached the finals at India Open, the Commonwealth Games and the Thailand Open but failed to cross the last hurdle.

P.V. Sindhu, who lost to Nozomi Okuhara in the Thailand Open, might have to upstage defending champion and familiar foe Okuhara as the two finalists of the previous edition are drawn to meet in the quarterfinals of the World Championships in China.   -  Getty Images

A title has eluded P.V. Sindhu this season despite three summit appearances but the Indian ace says she is undeterred by the heartbreak and will aim for a fresh start in the upcoming World Championship in China and the Asian Games in Indonesia.

Sindhu has been in impressive form ever since winning the silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Last year, she won three titles out of the six finals that she reached.

However, loss in the finals in World Championship, Hong Kong Open and Dubai Super Series Final earned her the choker’s tag.

READ| Okuhara stands in Sindhu’s way again at World Championship

This year, too, she has reached the finals at India Open, the Commonwealth Games and the Thailand Open but failed to cross the last hurdle, prompting many critics to once again describe her as the "perennial bridesmaid".

"I know sometimes I have been losing in the finals. See there are always negatives and positives. When you lose in the quarterfinals or semifinals, you actually learn a lot from those mistakes. You play well but sometimes you can’t get through it," Sindhu said.

"It doesn’t bother me because coming to the finals is the next best thing to winning, I mean losing in the first and second round is much worse, reaching the finals means anything can happen," she added.

READ: Thailand Open: Sindhu goes down in the final

Staying in the present

The 23-year-old will be leaving with the Indian team on Saturday for the World Championship in Nanjing, China beginning on July 30.

"I really want to do well in the World Championship. I have been preparing well. Also, there is the Asian games, which I want to do well. It is going to be a tough draw in the world championship, so I can’t take it easy," she noted.

"It is not like I can relax till the pre-quarterfinals. It is a draw of 64. I will play Fitriani in my first game. I have played her before. She is playing well and anything can happen."

Her final against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara at Glasgow last year went down as one of the greatest matches of all time clocking 110 minutes and Sindhu might have to upstage the defending champion again as the two are drawn to meet in the quarters.

"I know everyone is talking about Nozomi and my match but I can’t afford to think so far ahead. Before that, there is Sung Ji Hyun, who is not an easy player. Recently I have lost to her in Asia Badminton Championship, she has got good strokes and I can’t take her easy. So that round would be equally important," she said.

READ: Asian Games: Gayatri Gopichand raring to go

Remind her of the Glasgow final and Sindhu says: "I take that (match) in a positive way because it was a good game. She also played well. But it is over now and it is a new start and another new year of the world championship."

Sindhu had played Nozomi in the finals of Thailand Open last week and she said it will help her prepare better if she needs to face her again in the world championship.

"Yes (it helps), every time we have played, it has been very competitive in all the tournaments. She won at the worlds, I won at Korea, then she beat me at Japan and I defeated her at the All England. So basically our game is equal and it is a matter of those crucial 2-3 points that have made a difference," Sindhu said.

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'Happy with my progress'

Talking about Asian Games, Sindhu said: “Asian Games is going to be a tough one but I think the standard and quality will be like any other super series events. I mean apart from Carolina Marin, all the rest of the Asian players would be there, so it will be difficult.”

Asked to rate her performance this year, Sindhu said: “I am happy with my progress. Its been good so far. I am very happy that I could reach the finals in CWG and if I could have played well in the second game, it could have been three games.

"I was a little bit tired as I had an ankle sprain but I came back and I took the silver in a positive way because I had won a bronze the last time, so I was happy to win the silver. Hopefully, it will be a gold next time."

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