New Delhi: Double World Badminton Championships bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu is looking to bag a hat-trick this time around at the prestigious annual event which will be held in Jakarta from August 10 to 16.
The 20-year-old Sindhu is the only Indian to have two Worlds medals in her kitty, having clinched a bronze each in 2013 and 2014. She is looking to add another when she takes to the courts of the Istora Senayan on Tuesday.
“I am perfectly fit and fine now. I am playing good in practice. I feel great and I will be happy to win a medal for the third consecutive year,” the World No.13 told IANS in an interview.
Being seeded No.11 Sindhu has been given a first round bye but she is likely to face reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China in the third round of women’s singles.
“I know I am likely to play Li Xuerui. It is always tough playing against her. But I am positive about my chances. I am focussing on my sessions, working out to strengthen myself,” said the Hyderabadi.
With a first round bye, Sindhu will face the winner of the match between Danish Line Kjaersfeldt and Irish Chloe Magee in the second round before the probable clash against Xuerui. Sindhu and Xuerui have clashed thrice with the latter having a 2-1 advantage.
Apart from Sindhu, there is only one other Indian in the women’s singles draw — Saina Nehwal who has been seeded No.2.
Post her Macau Open win in November 2014, Sindhu had a good start to 2015 by reaching the semifinals of Malaysia Masters and India Grand Prix Gold. But since then she has mostly been out of the circuit because of an injury.
“Actually right after India Grand Prix Gold I went for an X-Ray which showed that I had a stress fracture on my foot. I had been carrying the pain for a long time since last year but I thought it was just stiffness and so I did not take it seriously and played on,” said Sindhu, who boasts a career-best ranking of No.9.
“The pain aggravated and I came to know about the fracture following which I had to take complete rest. I was out for four months. I did not play tournaments, leading to the fall in my ranking.”
After her return, the Hyderabadi has played four tournaments and exited all in early rounds. But still, despite the injury and lack of match practice, expectations have not lessened from her.
“Despite everything, there is a lot of expectations. It is not a burden as such. My family, coach, the doctors, everyone has been quite supportive. My coach told me not to take too much pressure and asked me to play freely and not be tensed,” said the Pullela Gopichand protege.
“Injuries can happen and it does take time to reach your optimum level then. Obviously after injuries you can’t play like you used to immediately. It is irritating,” added Sindhu, who just graduated to become a Bachelor of Commerce.
She may take up Masters of Business Administration (MBA) later on but for the moment the daughter of two former volleyball players wants to focus on badminton.
Indians have won only four bronze medals at the World Championships till date. Prakash Padukone became the first to clinch the metal in 1983 in men’s singles. India had to wait another 28 years when women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa clinched the bronze in 2011. Sindhu then won two consecutive bronzes in 2013 and 2014.