Sindhu just waiting for her chance to shine

India’s Sindhu P.V. caused quite a stir last fall when she reached her first final in a Grand Prix event at age 16.  However, even after a great performance at […]

Sindhu watches second round action at the 2012 Singapore Open © Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

India’s Sindhu P.V. caused quite a stir last fall when she reached her first final in a Grand Prix event at age 16.  However, even after a great performance at her home India Open this spring, the young shuttler is still waiting and hoping for a chance to shine in a Superseries event.

By Lee Suetyan, Badzine Correspondent, reporting live from Singapore.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

16-year-old Sindhu P.V., India’s newest rising star, who defeated top players like Tai Tzu Ying and Sung Ji Hyun in the India Open two months ago, suffered an easy loss of 16-21, 12-21 to Chen Xiaojia of China, to see her campaign in the 2012 Li-Ning Singapore Open Superseries nipped in the bud.   Sindhu took some time after her early disappointment to talk to Badzine about her match, and about her outlook at this early stage of her career.

“This is my first time playing against her,” said Sindhu.  “I started the first game well, I was leading by 6-1. After the interval, at 15 all, I started to make more mistakes and many of my shots went under the net. Thus, I have given away my first game 16-21 to her.

Sindhu in action at the 2012 Korea Open © Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

“The wind was a bit strong in the second game, but I did play my game well. Unfortunately, she took an early lead at 11-6. Then I chased point by point, 7-12, 8-12, I was trying to create a lot of long rallies in between, I was not giving her the points easily. Even though I think I already played very well in the second game, I still lost in the end.

She added with a bit disappointment, “This is my first time playing a Superseries tournament in Singapore.  I feel a bit disappointed because I’ve made an early exit today. But, no choice, I have to work harder in the future.

“Like now, I am 16 years old, and I will be playing in the Asian Badminton Championships in Korea next week.  I still think I can improve more.”

Sindhu goes into the Asian Junior Championships as a strong contender.  Her opponent in Singapore, Chen Xiaojia, won that tournament in 2009 but lost out in the World Juniors the same year to eventual runner-up Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, whom Sindhu herself toppled en route to her appearance in the Dutch Open final.

Sindhu at the 2011 China Open © Raphael Sachetat for Badmintonphoto

Last year at the Asian Juniors, Sindhu was beaten in three games by Sun Yu, who went on to win a 13th girls’ singles title for China in the event.

Sindhu and Sun, two of the tallest women’s singles players on the circuit, seniors included, will both be back to try their luck in Gimcheon.  Meanhile, two other major contenders from the junior ranks, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, will be skipping the event to concentrate on training for the London Olympic Games.

Sindhu is actually a very ambitious person, she said, “In the future, my goal is to become the world no. 1.  I am now ranked 26th in the world. I want to end up in the top 10 within this year. Also, I want to improve on my strokes and flicks.  I want to become a player who is as good as Saina Nehwal.”

Sindhu P.V. (far right) with members of the Indian team at the welcome party for the 2012 Indonesia Open © Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

Saina, of course, had herself just turned 16 when she collected her first Grand Prix victory at the Philippine Open way back in  2006.  But Sindhu reveals it isn’t just the badminton which is challenging for a young prodigy.

“This is my third tournament in a row since the Thailand Grand Prix Gold, then next week the Asian Junior Championships in Korea will be my fourth continuous week I am living away from my home.

“I don’t feel exhausted by these tight schedules, but I just miss my parents very much. I couldn’t see them for almost one month and I really miss them very much,” said the young rising star from India.

About Suetyan Lee