Not too long ago, when PV Sindhu returned home from tournaments, her parents would receive her with a gift at the Hyderabad airport.
However, on Tuesday, it was the baby-faced Sindhu who returned the favour. "I had to give my mother a gift on arrival today (Tuesday) as it was her birthday on August 25," the 19-year-old told dna.
It was a long evening for Sindhu, who had to address the media on her arrival via New Delhi and then give one-on-one interviews. Well-wishers even demanded a 'treat' from the second-highest ranked Indian woman shuttler after Saina Nehwal with one telling her, "God bless you, darling. We need a party."
Sindhu admitted to making a few mistakes that saw her lose Saturday's BWF World Championships semifinal encounter 17-21 15-21 to eventual champion Carolina Marin of Spain. Had she won, it would have been her third successive win over a higher-ranked player.
"Each and every match from the pre-quarterfinals was different. To be one game down in both the pre-quarters (against Korea's Yeon Ju Bae) and quarters (against China's Shixian Wang, the World No. 2) and win, I feel really happy. It was just small mistakes in the semifinals that cost me the match. Not making the final is very disappointing but I played really well. And I hope I will learn from my mistakes and come back stronger," the World No. 12 said.
Sindhu seems to have taken a particular liking to Shixian, whom she beat in the quarterfinal of the 2013 world championship too. Sindhu leads their head-to-head 4-2.
"It is not that only Chinese players are good and rest are not that good. Everyone in the top 20 is equally good. Each one has a different style of play. Whoever fights and has confidence is the winner," Sindhu said.
Another interesting fact is that Sindhu has now lost to eventual champions on two occasions — Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand last year and Marin now. Asked what she needed to do to brighten the colour of her medal at the worlds, Sindhu said, "You don't know who will come (as opponent) and when. You need to be prepared for everything. You need to fight it out till the last point. You need to be confident and stay focussed."
Still a teenager, Sindhu is the only Indian to win two world championship medals. "Both (bronze medals) are very dear to me. Having said that, what I have achieved is really good. At the same time, I am not satisfied with just bronze medal. There is a lot more to come."
Having just returned from Copenhagen, Sindhu is not taking any rest or celebrating her medal-winning performance. She has set her sights on her maiden appearance in the Asian Games. "No, no, no, no, no. I'm not taking rest. I will start my preparations for the Asiad on Wednesday as there is not much time. I want to give my best shot there."