HYDERABAD: PV Sindhu has not only established but also enhanced her reputation by retaining her Macau Open Grand Prix Gold title with a 21-12, 21-17 win over Korea’s Kim Hyo in a 45-minute final on Sunday.
Incidentally, this was her first Grand Prix of the season. Although the 19-year-old made history at the World Championship in Denmark by winning back-to-back bronze medals and then a bronze at the Commonwealth Games, a Grand Prix and Super Series titles had eluded her.
As a result, the tall shuttler was under scrutiny to prove herself, despite always giving her 100 per cent. “I’m very happy that I retained my Macau title,” she said.
It was also India’s third success in singles events in three weeks, after Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal had conquered the Chinese Open Super Series tournament.
National coach Pullela Gopichand was delighted with the results. “It was a fantastic performance and I liked the way she played. I was very impressed and it’s good that she’s able to finish the year on a high. Hopefully, she’ll come up with better performances and more titles. Looking back, the Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games, World Championship and the Asian Games were big positives for her. At 19 years, it’s a very good show,” he said.
Talking about the final against 18-year-old Kim, he pointed out that Sindhu looked very good in the first game. “She was strong and attacked from the beginning,” he opined.
Gopichand added that Sindhu showed more enterprise when it mattered. “She fought very well. Kim played a solid game but Sindhu played a near flawless game to come out trumps.”
But he did agree she was a little inconsistent even though she had big wins when it mattered, like the Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games, World Championship and Asian Games.
“I think with the kind of physique she has, it’s going to be difficult to be consistent all the time. This will be one of the few areas which we will be looking into.”
Sindhu, too, said she has to be more consistent. “There will be ups and downs. However, I have to work hard and be more consistent. Overall, the year has been very good for me,” she said.