PV Sindhu demonstrated that she is tough as steel. Her China Super Series success is the testimony. Sindhu’s first international title came in 2009 in the sub-junior Asian badminton championship in Colombo. She won her first major international title in 2013 when she clinched a bronze in the World Championship at Guangzhou and repeated the feat at Copenhagen the next year. She won her first Grand Prix medal when she bagged the Syed Modi Grand Prix event held at Lucknow in 2012. Her biggest triumph was the historic silver medal at the Rio Olympics this year. Surprisingly, she could never lay her hands on a Super Series trophy though she missed it narrowly in the Denmark Open last year losing to Li Xureui. This was something that bothered her and also her coach Gopichand. But Gopichand always believed that Sindhu would break that jinx and it was just a matter of time. On Sunday, the 21-year-old brought smiles to her coach by winning the China Open Premier Super Series beating hosts Sun Yun. It was a huge psychological barrier. Gopichand said it will make a difference from now on. She will play with more spring in her feet in the Super Series tournaments and will be a threat to any player in the world. The Chinese are already worried. If they had Saina Nehwal, winner of ten Super Series titles, in their path in the past, it’s Sindhu now who would keep them on the edge. However, the Japanese, Koreans and Carolina Marin of Spain could be Sindhu’s biggest rivals.
Sindhu is surely following in the footsteps of Saina, who held the centre stage in world badminton. But Saina had an edge over Sindhu as far as Super Series titles were concerned. Sindhu, however, has scored a few points over Saina by winning bronze medals twice in World Championship and is a step ahead in Olympics where Saina has bronze. It is an interesting rivalry and many feel it is good for Indian badminton. There are many similarities when it comes to work ethics. Both believe in hard work, discipline, self-belief and dedication. Both trained under Gopichand though Saina has moved out. Their game was different with Sindhu being a more aggressive player and Saina more of a fighter. For long, Sindhu had to be in the shadow of Saina. But she is all set to change the script. It will be more of Sindhu than Saina, who is struggling with injuries, in Indian and world badminton henceforth. She also has age on her side – the reason Gopichand confidently says there is more to come from this young exciting talent. Injuries are something that Sindhu has to take care of as last year she was already crippled by an ankle injury.