PV Sindhu looks up to Saina Nehwal and hopes to one day emulate her role model. She is for sure on the way. The lanky 17-year-old arrived in the city on Monday after lifting the women’s singles title in the Asian Youth Under-19 tournament held at Gimcheon in South Korea. In a nail-biting marathon final, she defeated Okhuhara Nozomi of Japan 18-21, 21-17, 22-20 on Saturday. The victory was sweet as Sindhu had thrashed a Chinese player Sun Yu on her way to the final. She had lost to Sun Yu in last year’s semi-final at Lucknow. “That loss hurt me. I wanted to win the title in front of the home crowd but I was disappointed to lose in the semi-finals. So this time, when I defeated the same Chinese player in the quarter-finals, it came as a huge relief. I was better prepared this time. Even in the final, when I was one game down, I kept my nerves to win the next two,’’ Sindhu, who celebrated her 17th birthday during the tournament, told City Express.
A trainee of the Pullela Gopichand Academy, Sindhu attributed her success to her coaches, particularly Gopichand, and her parents. Sindhu, who won the Senior National championship earlier this year, also attributed her success to Saina Nehwal, saying that playing with her role model at the camp had helped her.
“She has good work ethic. Be it a tournament or a practice session, Saina plays with same intensity. She hates to lose a point. Playing alongside her has made me better. She is aggressive and taught us how to keep our cool,’’ she said.
The daughter of former international PV Ramana, Sindhu said it will be a different story in senior circuits. “There is a lot of difference between junior tournaments and seniors. The competition is much tougher in seniors. But my experience and good performances in the Thailand and Indonesian Opens where I reached the pre-quarter-finals did help my confidence,’’ she said adding that she will train hard to live up to the expectations.