Indian badminton star PV Sindhu is optimistic of her country’s chances in the upcoming Sudirman Cup, the world mixed team championships, to be held in Gold Coast, Australia, from May 21 to 28.
India are placed with Denmark and Indonesia in Group 1D, thus forming arguably the toughest sub-group of the competition. India finished in ninth position in the last edition in 2015.
“We have a good chance, it’s a mixed team event so girls and boys both have to perform well,” said the Rio Olympics silver medallist.
Sindhu will be spearheading India’s challenge as Saina Nehwal, who had recently said that she would be selective in her choice of tournaments to play, has pulled out citing family reasons.
Speaking on her compatriot’s absence from the event, Sindhu said, “Yes, Saina isn’t playing but when it comes to one singles and mixed doubles only one player is required so that shouldn’t be an issue.”
Sindhu, who is currently ranked No.4 in the world, has set her sights on reaching the top spot by the end of the year.
“Currently I’m on fourth (rank) and I expect to see myself in top-three by the end of year. But I have already been in top two so I would definitely like to see myself as world number one. But for that you have to play well and if you do that, automatically ranking will come,” she said.
Sindhu cited her triumph in China Open and India Open as her high points following the silver at Rio.
“I had always wanted to win a Superseries and winning those has given me confidence and happiness,” she said.
Sindhu also spoke about current World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying, whom she beat in the semifinals at the Rio Olympics.
“We haven’t played much recently. The last was Rio and All England. So I haven’t faced her recently. But she is winning a lot of matches and doing well for herself. But when it comes to me playing against her, I feel it’s going to be a good match,” she said.
Throwing light on the positive affect her Olympic medal has had on the sport, Sindhu said, “After the Olympics I’ve seen a lot of change, kids picking up badminton and also a lot of academies have come up. So, it’s a good sign and badminton as a sport is getting much more encouragement.”