Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu believes the task of winning the coveted All England Championships is not going to be any easier by the expected absence of the injured Carolina Marin.
Marin, the reigning Olympic and world champion, retired from the Indonesia Masters final last week with a leg injury to hand the title to Saina Nehwal. Nehwal’s former coach Vimal Kumar had remarked that the Spaniard’s absence meant Sindhu and Nehwal were both in with a good shot to win the All England title, but Sindhu begs to differ.
"“I just can’t say it is a good chance. Definitely it is not going to be easy. Because as I said the top 10 to 15 players are of the same standard. If one just goes off (not competing), you cannot think that it’s going to be an easy draw or it’s going to be a cakewalk. No!”" - PV Sindhu
“Every match is equally tough because every player has a different style of play. Now the Chinese are doing really well – Chen Yufei, H E Bingjiao, and from Korea Sung Ji Hyun, and Ratchanok Intanon (from Thailand) are doing well. So there are a couple of players from every country who are doing really well,” Sindhu elaborated, while speaking at an event in Mumbai on Thursday, 31 January.
Sindhu wished for a speedy recovery to Marin, who is expected to be out of action for at least six months after undergoing surgery this week.
“She (Marin) had a knee surgery. Definitely a sad moment, but injuries are part of life. Definitely she will comeback stronger. I hope for a speedy recovery (for Marin).”
The All England Championship is scheduled to begin on 6 March, but the prized trophy – which hasn’t been won by any Indian since current chief national coach Pullela Gopichand in 2001 – is not the sole target for Sindhu this season.
“Definitely, want to win some of the Super Series, keep myself fit and healthy and prepare well. Nothing specific,” the 23-year-old responded to a query about her plans for 2019.
Sindhu had ended 2018 on a landmark high after winning the World Tour Finals. Her sights, though, are set firmly on what lies ahead.
"“I am very happy 2018 has ended on a very good note.But 2018 is over, now it is 2019. It is a fresh year, new year and new resolutions, and I hope that I will just give my best and just play my game, improve a lot more. I am quite confident but I shouldn’t be over-confident in that way, thinking that I can win against anybody, as I said.”" - PV Sindhu
Speaking about the competitiveness of the women’s game, Sindhu commented: “I think on that particular day, whoever plays well and gives their best is the winner. I feel the top 1 to 10 players are of same standard in the world. Each point is very important. You just can't think that this opponent is easy, can just play lightly at the start and then catch up.”
Sindhu’s immediate goal is at an India level, with the National Championships underway in Guwahati from 10 February.
(With inputs from PTI)
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