The World Championship gold has healed the wounds of all past final debacles except the Rio Olympics, said PV Sindhu, who has kept an empty space in her trophy cabinet for the top prize, which she hopes to claim in Tokyo next year.
“It (World Championship gold) takes care of all those losses. People have been talking about my final phobia, how I take pressure in the finals. I can say I gave the answer with my racquet,” said Sindhu.
“But Olympics is a completely different feeling. Rio (Games) and World Championship gave me different memories. But, yeah, one gold medal is missing, so definitely I will work hard for that and would love to see myself win that Olympic gold in Tokyo. There is a vacant space (laughs) in my cabinet for that gold. The Olympic qualification is on and this win will give me the confidence to go further.”
Sindhu, however, feels the path to the Tokyo Olympic gold will be a tough one as her opponents will now look to exploit her weaknesses. “(Rio) 2016 was my first Olympics and nobody knew me much. I was just one of the players but after that, everything changed. Now after the World Championship, everybody will try and learn new things. I should also learn in each tournament, because people will have some kind of strategy for me,” she said.
“I have been working with Kim Ji Hyun. She had some changes for me and it helped. But now I have to learn few new things. I need to work on net-play.” Ranked fifth in the world currently, Sindhu has virtually sealed her Olympic qualification. A higher ranking will help her avoid meeting top players when the draw is made at the Tokyo Games, but Sindhu seems to be unfazed about standings.
“Ranking matters because the draw depends on it. But I don’t really think about it. At the end of the day, you will have to beat these top players to clinch gold,” she added. Asked if achieving the World No.1 ranking is on her mind, Sindhu said: “Yeah, but I am not very particular about the ranking. For now, it is the Olympics, it is the ultimate goal, so after that it will be step by step.”