A keen contest is on the cards when world’s top woman shuttler Carolina Marin crosses swords with India’s PV Sindhu in the inaugural match of Premier Badminton League (PBL) between Hyderabad Hunters and Chennai Smashers on Sunday.
Marin, who is currently ranked world number two, and Sindhu, ranked six, are excited about the competition in PBL.
“I feel excited to be here in India. I am playing for the home crowd. I hope so many fans can come and support Hyderabad Hunters. I will try to do my best. It is going to be an exciting game against Sindhu. The score is going to be very different. It’s my first time with this score. So, every point is going to be important. I will try to do my best to win here,” Marin, who plays for Hyderabad Hunters, told reporters in Hyderabad.
Sindhu said one needs to be alert from the start in the 11-point game format adopted for the tournament.
“I will do my best. She (Marin) is part of Hyderabad Hunters. The crowd is going to be there. The scoring system is going to be different. It’s 11 points. From the starting point, we need to be alert and give our best,” Sindhu, who plays for Chennai Smashers, said.
“There would not be much time to think in the 11-point game format. So, every point is important. Every team is equally tough. So, it depends on who plays better on that day,” Sindhu said.
Marin and Sindhu famously clashed in the Rio Olympics where Marin won the gold and Sindhu bagged the silver.
Replying to a query, Marin said Sindhu is growing up fast and that she had to give her best whenever she played against the Indian.
“I think she is growing up very fast. She is a good player. Whenever I play against Sindhu, it’s always a tough match,” she said.
Replying to a query, Marin said it was not always the Chinese players who dominate world badminton.
“It’s not only China. There are so many countries that now play at the top,” said Marin.
Sindhu, who will be playing for Chennai Smashers, is not disappointed that PBL matches will not be played in Chennai in this edition of the tournament and hopes that there would be support for the team during the matches.
The other top players present on the occasion included Jan O Jorgensen, World No. 2 two from Denmark who plays for Delhi Acers, India’s Kidambi Srikanth (Awadhe Warriors) and Viktor Axelsen (Bengaluru Blasters).
Asked about Saina Nehwal, Srikanth said that the star Indian shuttler, who recently recovered from a knee injury, was fit.
“She (Saina) is fit. She is fit to play,” he said.
Srikanth, who is currently ranked world number 15, said he is looking forward to give his best for his team — Awadhe Warriors.
Jorgensen said the 11-point game format is going to be different.
“It’s very different. Every point is going to be crucial. I think it makes it even more exciting for all the viewers,” he said.