Indian shuttler PV Sindhu makes her much-awaited return to the circuit at the Denmark Open Superseries Premier today. This will be her first match since clinching a historic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Is she up for the challenge? Read our detailed preview here:
(6) PV Sindhu (IND) vs He Bingjiao (CHN)
Head-to-head: Bingjiao leads 3-1
Year-to-date meetings: Bingjiao leads 2-1
Returning after a break is not an easy task for any player. Having to deal with burgeoning expectations from fans after one’s biggest career achievement makes the comeback an even tougher job.
India’s PV Sindhu has to face both now. After becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal at the Rio Games there is no doubt that all eyes will be on the 21-year-old now. With the kind of maturity and calmness under pressure that she exhibited in Brazil, fans will be anxious to see more of such gutsy performances on the court.
The Pullela Gopichand protégé also looked to have sharpened her defensive skills and appeared to have a more rounded game that came to her rescue time and again against the likes of players like the All England champion Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-finals. It will be interesting to see if she can continue with that same approach.
The Denmark Open itself will present a challenge for the youngster. This is the same tournament where she made a giant-killing run to the final last year and it so far remains as the only Superseries final of her career. With three top-10 wins that included a victory over the Olympic champion Carolina Marin, Sindhu proved she is not afraid to take on the very best. That performance awarded her a massive 9, 350 points which she has to defend this year.
Her opening round opponent this year also makes it a more uphill task for her. 11th ranked He Bingjiao of China has proved to be quite a handful for the Indian this year. They met thrice and the Chinese won two of those showdowns with her last win coming at the Singapore Open in April.
Indeed this is quite a test for the World No. 8. But if she can show the same equanimity that she displayed at Rio, no challenge can be insurmountable for her.
Tournament: Denmark Open Superseries Premier
Venue: Odense, Denmark
Match timing: 10.15pm IST
Live streaming: BadmintonWorld.tv Youtube