CHENNAI: PV Sindhu has moved on from the disappointing end — where she lost the Dubai World Super Series final against Akane Yamaguchi narrowly — to last year. Always one to count on her positives, the 22-year-old shuttler is focusing on the tougher challenges ahead. After finishing 2017 with two gold and three silver medals, she has now trained her eyes on the Jakarta Asian Games and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held later this year.
Knowing the gargantuan amount of expectations on her shoulders, she has already started her preparations. “I learnt from my mistakes in 2017. I had played a lot of lengthy matches and I won and lost a few. But I feel 2017 has taught me how to play gruelling matches and remain patient. 2018 will be hectic with both Asian Games and CWG. A few more Super Series have added up (in the calendar). You would also notice that most of the matches these days get down to the wire because of very little differences between the players. The key then is to stay fit both mentally and physically. This will be an enduring season so I will need to plan my schedule accordingly. I know that the expectations have increased. Also there is a sense of responsibility. But I am used to pressure now. It keeps me on my toes and I enjoy it,” the Rio Olympics silver-medallist told TOI on the sidelines of Boost meet and greet session with Sindhu on Sunday.
Apart from focusing on her fitness, she is keen on introducing new shots to her arsenal. “With so many tournaments being played, there is an over analysis of me as well as my opponents’ game. Every shuttler has their own playing style but they keep on updating their shots. Since you are playing against the same player again and again, you need to revise your strategy. So, you have to keep on reinventing and upgrading your game. It is important that you develop more shots and add on to your armoury. There are different types of strokes which I have been working on. I am also trying to play the same shot in various ways,” she revealed.
Sindhu, who had won 44 matches out of 57 and climbed to third rank from sixth in 2017, had started 2018 in the right earnest after beating world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in PBL on Saturday. The last time Sindhu had beaten the Chinese Taipei girl was back at Rio Olympics. The Indian says her win was a result of her close observation of Tai Tzu’s game. “I don’t go and ask my opponents about their shots but I observe and learn. Every player have good strokes but Tai Tzu has very good deception and (Nozomi) Okuhara and Yamaguchi are rally players and they are good on the baseline. With Tai Tzu, (Carolina) Marin and Yamaguchi, you need to focus on every point and shot. Otherwise, it becomes tough to come back. Yesterday, things went my way,” Sindhu said.