PV Sindhu started off easily with a convincing straight game victory against Hungary’s Laura Sarosi to kickstart her Rio 2016 Olympics campaign on a bright start and more importantly give India their first victory in badminton today.
Earlier Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta alongside Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri had lost in straight games. Sindhu won 21-8, 21-9 against her opponent who wore knee length socks in a fashion statement of her own.
PV Sindhu vs Laura Sarosi
1957 hrs IST: No problems for Sindhu. She wins it comfortably without any concern – as one expected from her
1956 hrs IST: PV Sindhu on match point now. Clear domination from the Indian as she allows only nine points
1950 hrs IST: PV Sindhu close to winning this one easily. She has not allowed her opponent to score after the first eight points
1948 hrs IST: Sindhu opening up the lead here. After some tight point early she is dominating the set again. She lead 11-6
1945 hrs IST: Match tied 4-4 at this moment in the second set. This is better from Sarosi. Keeping Sindhu on her toes
1944 hrs IST: Couple of good points from the Hungarian! She is testing Sindhu in this set but it is still a long way for her
1942 hrs IST: Start of the second set here. Sindhu will receive the first serve. But Sarosi wins the first point
1941 hrs IST: PV Sindhu with a beautiful score drop close to the net and that gives her game point. Good game for the Indian so far
1937 hrs IST: Sindhu is feeling no pressure in this set. An easy rally that she is able to finish with a good smash
1935 hrs IST: PV Sindhu with another smash on the left side and her opponent has no answer to it. At the halfway mark in first set, Sindhu 11-4
1930 hrs IST: Domination from PV Sindhu! She is up 8-4 against her oppoenet. Some good long shot
1925 hrs IST: PV Sindhu is on the court for her match against Laura Sarosi
It’s the sort of physique that the Chinese have gone hunting for, hoping that badminton skills can be drummed into those long arms and legs, as afterthoughts almost. They put a lot of store on their women shuttlers being tall and rangy — and getting those steep smashes going to cap swift rallies. It’s a perennial search to find the next Zhang Ning, Xie Xingfang or at least a Yihan Wang. In India, PV Sindhu armed with just those attacking strokes, knows she is blessed. She is tall.
But her opponents love exploiting the double edges of this sword to scythe through her game. On the circuit, her rivals revel in making the 5’10 girl bend. Heading into her maiden Olympics, the 20-year-old Hyderabadi is determined when she says she will now bow to the onslaught, even if it means she needs to learn and relearn how to bend.
It was picking of those drop shots that teased her the most. Those that demanded she contort her spine and bend across her body – toughest for the tall shuttlers. It’s an area she’s putting in maximum effort into. “I have been doing more of downward stroke (countering) because against players who are tall they (opponents) don’t give chances to attack. They keep you more in defence. There are advantages as well as disadvantages with being tall. One thing (advantage) is the (better) reach, (but) they make you bend a lot more,” she says.
The draws for the badminton event for Rio 2016 Olympics were announced on Tuesday and there is some happy news for India. The Indian players for badminton have got a rather easy grouping for the competition.
In the women’s singles, India’s star player Saina Nehwal has been placed in Group G and seeded fifth for the competition. She will have Maria Ulitina and Lohaynny Vicente as her competition in the group. The other player for India in the women’s draw, PV Sindu has been drawn in Group M and she has been given the seed ninth. She will be up against Michelle Li and Laura Sarosi in the group stage.
In the men’s singles competition, India’s only entry in the competiton, K Srikanth has been seeded ninth for the tournament. The player has been slotted in group H with Nehri Hurskainen of Sweden and Lino Munoz.
India’s another entry in women’s doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa are in Group A. This means that they will compete against top seends M Matsutomo-A Takahashi of Japan, E Muskens-S Piek and P Supajiraku-S Taerattanachai.
PV Sindhu, 21: Pusarla Venkata Sindhu represents Indian badminton at the highest level. The 21-year old Hyderabad girl trains at Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. Born on July 5th 1995, the young shuttler has attained a highest career rankings of 9 that she achieved in 2014. Presently she is ranked 10th. She belongs to a family of volleyball players as her parents played the game on professional level. Sindhu started playing badminton at the age of eight. She was a team member of the Indian squad in Uber Cup in 2010.
Career highlights: In 2014, PV Sindhu reached the semifinal stage of Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the women’s singles competition. In 2015 playing at the Denmark Open, Sindhu reached to her maiden final of a Super Series event. Earlier in 2016, Sindhu won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title.