‘I don’t feel that daunting pressure’: PV Sindhu

Amid preparations for the French Open badminton ace PV Sindhu talks about being mentored by the renowned Prakash Padukone and handling the high hopes pinned on her
PV Sindhu with Prakash
PV Sindhu with Prakash (Photo | Twitter/Pvsindhu1)

CHENNAI : She has a way of blending into the crowd. And according to ace badminton player PV Sindhu, keeping it low-key is a deliberate attempt. “But there are times, I frequent malls with a mask and cap on, but still get recognised. It’s probably because of my height,” says the 28-year-old.

Sindhu moved to Bengaluru in November 2023 from Hyderabad and is currently being mentored by badminton legend Prakash Padukone. Of course, the shuttler misses home but does not mind the change since she has her eyes fixed on her goal.

“In October, I thought I would come here and see how it works out. To be honest, when you stay away from home, you will always feel like you are missing out. Coming here, helped me up my game. I initially thought I would come on and off but after I saw myself change for the better, I decided to train here. Now, I have a whole new team,” says Sindhu.

The other factor that helped her deal with the change was training under the guidance of Padukone. “He is very calm, he always says that there’s a process. If you make any mistake, you need to practice until you become perfect. I am so comfortable with sir’s style of mentoring. When he says something, it comes from a place of experience and means a lot. He always says you have to be your 100 per cent to play any game,” says Sindhu, while chatting at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy.

Recently, Sindhu made a comeback after a long injury layoff, with a gold-medal triumph at the Badminton Asia Team Championships. Now, the double Olympic medallist is eyeing the Paris 2024 Olympics but before that, she has set her sights on the French Open and the All England Open, starting from March 5 and 12, respectively. “Preparation is going well. We have French Open and then back-to-back tournaments. After the team event, these will be the first individual tournaments,” says Sindhu.

With the whole nation pinning high hopes on her, the pressure is inevitable — but having been playing for many years, the experiencwe has also helped her deal with the pressure. “Pressure is always there. But right now, I don’t feel that daunting pressure – whether there is pressure or not, I just have to play. I am just living in the moment and not thinking what needs to be done,” says a confident Sindhu.

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The New Indian Express