“I consider the All England as like any normal super series tournament. People may think as if it’s a big tournament by its name,” Sindhu told PTI.
“But as a player, I would be playing the same players who I play in other Super Series matches tournaments, so it is the same for me,” said the 21-year-old from Hyderabad who trains at Pullela Gopichand’s badminton academy at Gachibowli.
The marquee $600,000 tournament is scheduled to be held from March 7 to 12 in Birmingham.
Her mentor Gopichand and legendary Prakash Padukone are the only two Indians who have won the All England Championship ever with Saina Nehwal coming tantalisingly close to claiming the title in 2015 before losing to Olympic champion Carolina Marin.
However, Sindhu has in the past broken many records when she became the first Indian women’s shuttler to win a bronze at the 2013 World Championship and repeating the feat at the next edition at Denmark.
The Indian also had broken new grounds when she became the first Indian shuttler to win a silver at the Rio Olympic Games, losing to Marin in the finals.
“I am preparing well and every match is equally important in the tournament. I have been playing with boys which is helpful for me. I’m training hard day and night to achieve the goal,” said Sindhu, who will open her campaign against Denmark’s Mette Poulsen.
The sixth seeded Indian is likely to meet World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals, an opponent she has lost five times including the defeat at the Hong Kong Open.
Saina in Olympic Committee
Adding another feather in her cap, star shuttler Saina Nehwal, who was appointed a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission (AC) last year, would be representing the panel in the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
She would join the BWF Athletes’ Commission as a representative of the IOC AC, IOC said in a communication to Nehwal. Nehwal has received an official communication in this regard. The Chair of BWF AC has informed others on the panel about Saina’s joining the BWF AC as a representative of the IOC AC.
In a rare honour, Saina was appointed as a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission soon after the Rio Olympics.