Dream big! It’s the first step to success. PV Sindhu has this thought etched in her mind. It was a season to remember for this young shuttler as she not only broke into the top 20 but also managed to register the biggest win of her career against Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui in the China Open Super Series.
“I didn’t expect to beat Li. All I wanted to do was play my best game. I wasn’t under any kind of pressure, I gave my best and emerged victorious,” she says. “It’s been a good season for me. I also won the Asia Youth U-19 championship. Though I aimed to get into the top 20, I did not anticipate it would happen this soon.”
Currently ranked 19th, the 17-year-old looks to go one step further this season. “I hope to break into the top 10 by the end of 2013. And then, the ultimate goal is the world No 1 ranking,” Sindhu, who left for the Korea Open on Sunday, says.
In December last year, Sindhu skipped her sister’s wedding to play in the Syed Modi tournament but faltered at the final hurdle. “I know I missed the wedding but the tournament was more important to me. I wanted to give my sister a wedding gift by winning the title, unfortunately, that didn’t happen,” she says.
The Hyderabadi is doing everything she can to realise her dreams. “I need to work on my stroke play and I am working on that. My game has improved leaps and bounds in the last one year. Also, I have had some pretty close games, many of which didn’t go my way. It’s depressing but you get to learn a lot from your losses. With more practise, I am sure I will go all the way.”
Rated as one of the most promising players and the next big thing in Indian badminton by coach P Gopichand, Sindhu hopes to win at least one Grand Prix title this year. “Gopi sir has helped me evolve as a player. I don’t know about all the controversies, but for me, he is the best coach in India. I hope to win more games this season and end the wait of winning a Grand Prix title.”
And with her role model Saina Nehwal winning a bronze at the London Olympics, Sindhu says she is not far behind. “Saina has inspired many juniors and youngsters, including me. I am looking forward to making the cut for the Rio Olympics and coming out with flying colours.”
For now, it’s over to Korea!