Rising shuttler P V Sindhu showed indomitable spirit before going down fighting against World No. 7 Yanjiao Jiang of China in the women's singles quarter-final of the India Open Super Series, in New Delhi on Friday.
The 16-year-old Sindhu showed tremendous grit and maturity as she made the fourth seed Chinese work hard for points before losing 18-21, 21-12, 21-18 in an intense 56-minute match.
"This is the first time I am playing in the quarterfinals of the Indian Open Super series. I was confident after winning the first game but in the second game my pushes and tosses were going out and I lost. I played well but I made mistakes in crucial moments," Sindhu said.
"The shuttler was fast and I played big rallies. But she was better at the net. I never thought that I will play in the quarters. I gave my best, could have won it but may be next time," she added.
National coach Pullela Gopichand also lauded Sindhu and described her as the 'best prospect' among the next generation of Indian shuttlers.
"It was an exceptional performance from Sindhu in this event and she is the best prospect that we have among the youngsters. This is the highest level and the way she has played against a couple of top 20 players in the tournament, it was amazing," Gopichand said.
"I was confident of her performance because I know her potential but she was playing a much higher-ranked player and even though she has lost, there are a lot of positives to take from here. She needs sustained exposure and motivation," he added.
The 2001 All England champion, however, cautioned that her rise will depend on the way she handles pressure in future. "There is no pressure on her now but she will feel the pressure once she has to defend those points," he said.