"A good feeling to finish the year with a win"

P.V. Sindhu with the gold medal she won at the Macau Open Grand Prix recently.-V.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

“Beating the World No. 1 player and then losing to a relatively lesser-ranked player the next day is something that I should take care of. I am aware that I have to be consistent,” says P. V. Sindhu, who won the Macau Open recently. By V.V. Subrahmanyam.

It was a great gesture by the 2012 London Olympics bronze medal winner, Saina Nehwal, and fellow trainees at the Gopi Chand Academy as they gave the Macau Open Grand Prix champion, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, a warm welcome when she arrived there. It underlined the lanky player’s growing stature in the sport; it also reflected the wonderful spirit that prevails amongst the trainees under the tutelage of the chief national coach, Pullela Gopi Chand.

“Yes, it is always a good feeling to finish the year with a win. I should have won a few more, especially after the bronze in the Worlds,” said Sindhu, who defeated World No. 30 Li Michelle 21-15, 21-12 in the Macau Open final recently.

Even as she was sharing her joy with her family members and fellow players at the Gopi Chand Academy, Sindhu was conscious of the fact that she has to switch gears to produce far better results in the years to come. “Yes, beating the World No. 1 player and then losing to a relatively lesser-ranked player the next day is something that I should take care of. I am aware that I have to be consistent and will surely work hard to this end,” she remarked.

Reflecting on her game, Sindhu expressed satisfaction with the way she played the drop shots in Hong Kong and Macau. “Gopi Sir is constantly looking out for areas where I have to improve. Yes, I will work a lot on my fitness and my strokes. I am playing in some big events next year including the Asian Games. The effort will be there and I am confident of moving up the ladder in the circuit,” Sindhu said.

According to the 18-year-old player, the badminton circuit today is very demanding and hectic. “That is the reason why Gopi Sir plans out the events I should take part in and the ones I should skip. For instance, skipping China Open this year proved to be good for me if the Macau Open result is any indication,” Sindhu said.

Sindhu said that she needed to keep improving with every tournament, as the schedule is the same for all the players around the world. “Winning and losing are part of the game. You have to keep winning more titles to be a special player. So the schedule of events cannot be an excuse. If you want to be a top-level player, the onus is on you to play consistently,” she pointed out.

Sindhu, ranked World No. 11, hoped that her performance in 2013 is just the beginning. “I feel more confident now after the Macau Open victory,” she said.

“I won’t, however, say that I was desperate for this title, but I needed the win definitely. The thing is, you can’t play the same way day-in and day-out. You are going to face ups and downs. I hope 2014 will be a much better year for me in terms of performances,” she added.

Gopi believes Sindhu has clearly lived up to his expectations. “Sindhu has the game to keep moving ahead and what impresses me, I reiterate, is her sincerity and desire to keep learning from her mistakes,” he said.