In three days’ time,PV Sindhu will turn 18. This means that after participating in three world championships as a junior,the World Championships in Guangzhou next month will be her first as a senior. Sindhu is looking forward to the tournament. “It is my first Championship as a senior,so there are going to be a lot of expectations from me,” she says.
The World No. 11,however,remains cautious about her own expectations from the tournament,having never advanced beyond the quarterfinal stage so far. “I am looking forward to doing well in the Championship but I have to be realistic as well. At this stage,my goal is to reach the quarterfinals or semifinals,” says Sindhu,who was in the capital to receive an award at the PSPB awards ceremony.
Making Sindhu’s task more difficult will be the fact that she hasn’t had a lot of match practice. Sindhu,who had injured her right knee at the China Open last year,had suffered an injury to her left knee last month,which ruled her out of a couple of tournaments. “I missed two tournaments (Thailand and Indonesia) due to my knee injury. I don’t want to aggravate it just to get fit for the World Championship,” said Sindhu,who had won the Malaysian Open and reached the semifinals of the India Open Super Series this year.
Focus on strengthening
And while there is a national ranking tournament in Pune two weeks from now,Sindhu isn’t likely to compete. “My knee has recovered but before the World Championships,I would simply like to get as much training as possible,” says Sindhu who is also working on strength training for her troublesome joints.
What she says has given her additional hope has been the performance of her fellow trainees at the Gopichand Academy – K Srikanth,who won his maiden GP title in Thailand last month,and Sai Praneeth,who pulled off a couple of recent upsets over former World Champion Taufik Hidayat and world No. 4 Yun Hu of Hong Kong.
“It is a bit difficult,when there are just a few players performing internationally. When you have a number of youngsters doing well,then all of us gain confidence,” Sindhu says.