Don't want to celebrate yet, the job is not done: PV Sindhu
Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is all set to become the first ever female athlete to win a medal better than bronze for the country. After Sakshi Malik’s resurgent bronze medal yesterday, the 21-year old dispatched Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, 21-19, 21-10 to secure a spot in the final against world number one Carolina Marin. Sindhu had failed to defeat her Japanese opponent in the last three outings, but looked in supreme form today, winning the last 11 points of the match.
After her match, she told Sportskeeda, “I have always had a mental block of sorts while playing Nozumi, her style of play is so different from mine that it contradicts it. However, this time both me and Sir (Pullela Gopichand) planned on how we can work around her game. So I changed my gameplan, but she still adapted very quickly. You could see it in the first game, I took the lead but then she came back and then it was 19-19. So it was anybody’s game. Those two points which made it 21-19 were the key points for me.”
Sindhu breezed through the second set, despite the score being locked at 10-10 at one point. She added, “I think they key for my victory was that I didn’t leave my foot from the gas and kept applying pressure. I’m very happy, that I had a good game, despite the number of unforced errors I did, I still won. But, that is one aspect of my game that I have to work on before the final. Carolina is in top form, so giving her any advantage will be silly on my part. I gave my best today and i have to do that tomorrow against Carolina as well."
Specifically working on analysing her opponents weaknesses: Pullela Gopicahand
Unlike previous editions, Rio has seen a more aggressive version of Sindhu, in fact, she seemes more adaptable to different styles of play now. Her deft front court touches, mixed with high intenstiy smashes were the stadnout features of her game today. Her coach Pullela Gopichand added, “We have been specifcally focussing on analysing opponents to suit Sindhu’s style of play. Today, her game was different from her match with Wang Yihan, because Want played a different long rally style. There were long rallies here also, but I had asked her to specifically focus on the front court area, which worked out well for us.”
The Hyderabad-based shuttler has only lost one game in the entire tournament so far highlighting her form heading into the even.She said, “The game against Michelle Li was tough, she was playing some precise badminton and was probably the toughest one I played here. There also I thought of not giving up and running after every rally. I will give my heart out in the final as I said I want to beat the best and if I do I will win gold. It depends on the day, If I can trump her strategy. I can’t get into the technicalities much, but my coach has it all planned out.”
Sindhu will play for the gold medal at 19:30 IST, looking to become India’s second individual gold medallist after Abhinav Bindra.