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I have really improved on lot of skills: PV Sindhu

By HARISH KOTIAN
Last updated on: September 08, 2019 18:26 IST

'I was more aggressive and I was fast on my feet, that was very much needed. I was also ready for every point, I was not just thinking about the game but every point was equally important for me.'

PV Sindhu

IMAGE: PV Sindhu was felicitated by the Sahara India Pariwar in Mumbai on Sunday to celebrate her historic triumph at the World Championships last month. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

India's badminton queen PV Sindhu revealed that working with new coach Kim Ji Hyun along with the guidance from Pullela Gopichand has been instrumental in taking her game to the next level.

Sindhu had scripted history as she became the first Indian to win the Badminton World Championships gold, in Basel, last month. In a one-sided final, the Indian ace, who won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, defeated Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7, 21-7 in 38 minutes.

 

On whether working with Kim, who joined in March, was making an impact on her game, Sindhu replied: "Well it definitely had a lot (of impact) because she (Kim) has been here for a few months and I have been training with her. She had few changes in her mind, that really helped me and we worked on that, of course under the guidance of Gopi Sir (Pullela Gopichand) and it went on really well. I have really improved on lot of skills and there is a lot more to improve in the coming months."

Sindhu was felicitated by the Sahara India Pariwar in Mumbai on Sunday to celebrate her historic triumph at the World Championships last month.

VIDEO: Afsar Dayatar/Rediff.com

It was third time lucky for Sindhu, who had lost to Okuhara and Carolina Marin of Spain respectively in the 2017 and 2018 World Championship finals.

It was sweet revenge for Sindhu against Okuhara, whom she had lost in an epic 110-minute final two years ago at Glasgow in one of the all-time great contests in badminton history.

IMAGE: Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan with his son Abhishek. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

Sindhu said her preparations and training have improved a lot in the last few years, resulting in the overall development of her on-court game.

"Yes, a lot of things because preparation-wise, year by year and step by step, I have been improving a lot," said the Indian.

"Every time you need to come up with some new things because the other players know your game, it is very important to keep changing all the time, so it is really important to keep changing all the time."

Sindhu also stated that the narrow loss to Okuhara was not affecting her going into the title clash.

"No, it wasn't playing on mind. Also I was very much positive because I didn't want the (similar) match which had been played in 2017.

"It was just a fresh game for me because we have played a couple of times earlier as well so it was one of the fresh matches. I know, we know both our games but it was more like, we had to decide the strategy accordingly when we went on court."

Sindhu etched her name in record books as the joint-highest medal winner in women's singles in World Championships history, with former Olympic champion Zhang Ning of China who also won 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze between 2001 and 2007.

The World Championships title came as a big relief to Sindhu, who finally managed to clinch the gold medal after finishing runner-up at the 2016 Olympics, last year's Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and the previous two world championships finals.

Sindhu disclosed that she adopted an aggressive strategy for this year's World Championships, which paid rich dividends.

"I was very much alert and I was very much prepared for this tournament. And playing against Chen Yu Fei and Okuhara, even though it was a different style of the game I was more aggressive and I was fast on my feet, that was very much needed. I was also ready for every point, I was not just thinking about the game but every point was equally important for me," she said.

PV Sindhu

IMAGE: PV Sindhu is the first Indian to win the Badminton World Championships gold. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Sindhu's father PV Ramana's advice to his daughter was very clear.

"I just told her to play her game and give her best. She really played well on that day, and every time if you speak to Sindhu, you will know she has that confidence against whoever she plays," he said.

Ramana was part of the Indian volleyball team which won the bronze medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. He pointed out some areas where Sindhu needs to work upon to improve her game further.

"She now requires to play near the net and she needs to have confidence in her strokes. And once you are confident about your net dribbles and your cross courts near the net, and of course the lift for Sindhu. She is a hard smasher but the lift is where we wanted her to improve. A little bit of parallel game and the dribble, that is most important for Sindhu and if she gets that confidence and she is injury-free she has a good chance in the coming tournaments as well," he said.

He believes that the confidence Sindhu will gain from the World Championships title will spur her on for further glory at major tournaments in the future.

"This time the expectations were not much and she won the Championship which she hadn't before in a one-sided affair. With this win she will get more confidence to perform and excel in future tournaments," he said.

HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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