PV Sindhu says no pressure of rankings, aims to be No.1 in 2018
PV Sindhu, who is currently ranked number three in the world, says she is happy in the limelight as a youth icon but knows it all comes out of her performance on the court.Updated: Dec 30, 2017 14:25 IST
Ever since she reached the 2016 Rio Olympics final, PV Sindhu has become a household name in India. Even those fans who don’t follow badminton are keen to know more about the 22-year-old youth icon.
In a tete-e-tete with Hindustan Times on Friday, the world No 3 from Hyderabad opened up on a variety of topics, including her craving for junk food, love for the camera and a ‘no regret’ attitude.
How would you sum up 2017?
I won Superseries events, did well at the World Championships and the Dubai Superseries final too, where I was runner-up. It has been a really good year because I have been improving. Of course, 2016 was big because of the Olympic silver but 2017 has been fantastic.
You lost three major finals -- Olympics, World Championships and Superseries Final -- How do you look at the losses?
Those are very big finals. Reaching till there is a big thing, you just lose a point or so... I don’t regret I have lost, but yeah, I do feel bad at times. But I took many positives from those matches and came back much stronger.
Do you think China’s domination has gone? There is no Wang Yihan, Shixian Wang and Li Xuerui on the circuit?
Earlier, the Chinese dominated, but now players from other countries are doing well. Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei), Nozomi Okuhara and Akane Yamaguchi (both Japan), some from Korea and Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand), there are many good players. But there are many juniors from China too, who are doing really well. The level of competition among the top 15-20 players is quite equal. You can’t take it easy because of a player’s ranking. It is never going to be easy.
You are ranked world No.3, you were No 2 earlier this year. How far is No 1?
I want to see myself as No 1. If you play well and win tournaments, you will automatically be No 1. There is no pressure of rankings.
Life has changed for you since Rio. How has stardom treated you? Can you go out to eat pani puri?
Yes, life has changed since Rio, on and off the court. I’ve got a lot of confidence; On and off the court, responsibilities have increased. People start expecting more from you. People come to me asking for pictures, autographs. I really enjoy it because when I was young and looking up to someone else who was in the limelight, I also wanted to be there. Once you are there you have to enjoy it, which I am doing. But I don’t get to have my own time because I keep travelling a lot and playing tournaments, so I just go abroad and shop.
You’ve been on the cover of magazines, TV shows have been made on you. What is more difficult, doing ads, being in front of the camera or facing a tough player?
Being on court is much more difficult. If you play and get there and are at the top, then you get everything. So, playing is much tougher. I basically enjoy being in front of the camera, so it’s not tough.
What do you eat on your cheat day, burgers or pizzas?
(Laughs) Well, I eat both burgers and pizzas and once in a while it is fine. Sometimes may be ice cream and chocolates. I just love junk food!
How has your coach Pullela Gopichand helped in mental conditioning?
A lot. I have trained under him since I was under-10. Earlier, when I would lose points I used to get nervous or sad because I would think about those points. That has changed a lot because we’ve been training on that. He has really helped me in becoming strong, mentally and physically.
What is your target for 2018?
I need to keep myself fit, work harder, be happy and see myself as No 1.